Sermons 2007
Trinity C, 3 June 2007

Home | In the Beginning was the Word, Christmas Day, 25 December 2007, John 1:1-14 | What's Missing? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2007, Luke 2:1-20 | Joseph, the Forgotten One, Advent 4A, 23 December 2007, Matthew 1:18-25 | Come with Joy, Advent 3A, 16 December 2007, Matthew 11:2-11 | Darkness or Light? Advent 1A, 2 December 2007, Matthew 24:37-44 | What Kind of King is He? Proper 29C, 25 November 2007, Luke 23:35-43 | Predictions and the Horseman of the Apocalypse, Proper 28C, 18 Nov 2007, Luke 31:5-19 | Just passing through? Proper 27C , 11 November 2007, Luke 20:20-38 | Not like others? Proper 25C, 28 October 2007, Luke 18:9-14 | "We are bold to say", Proper 24C, 21 October 2007, Luke 18:1-8a | "The ten lepers", Proper 23C, 14 October 2007, Luke 17:11-19 | Proper 22C and Holy Baptism, 7 October 2007 | A taste of cool water, Proper 21C, 30 September 2007, Luke 16:19-31 | We hear what we want to hear, Proper 20C, 23 September 2007, Luke 16:1-13 | "Lost -- but found!" Proper 19C, 16 September 2007, Luke 15:1-10 | "Who is coming to dinner?" Proper 17C, 2 September 2007, Luke 14:1, 7-14 | Doors and narrow gates, Proper 16C, 26 August 2007, Luke 13:22-30 | "Fire to the earth", Proper 15C, 19 August 2007, Luke 12:49-56 | "Do not be afraid, little flock', Proper 14C, 12 August 2007, Luke 12:32-40 | "How much is enough?" Proper 13C , 5 August 2007, Luke 12:13-21 | "Lord, teach us to pray" Proper 12C, 29 July 2007, Luke 11:1-13 | "The Better Part?" Proper 11C, 22 July 2007, Luke 10:38-42 | The Good Samaritan -- the Summary of the Law" Proper 10C, 15 July 2007, Luke 10:25-37 | "Travel Light!" Proper 9C, 8 July 2007, Luke 10:1-12, 16-20 | "Independence Day" Proper 8C, 1 July 2007, Luke 9:51-62 | "Three Questions", Proper 7C, 24 Jun 2007, Luke 9:18-24 | "In or Out?" Proper 6C, 17 June 2007, Luke 7:36-50 | "On Grace", Proper 5C, 10 June 2007, Luke 7:11-17 | Trinity C, 3 June 2007 | Pentecost C, 27 May 2007 | "Unity and Diversity" Easter 7C, 20 May 2007, John 17:20-26 | "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" Easter 6C, 13 May 2007, John 14:23-29 | "What is this thing called love?" Easter 5C, 6 May 2007, John 13:31-35 | "Numbers and Sheep", Easter 4C, 29 April 2007, John 10:22-30 | Virginia Tech, Easter 3C, 22 April 2007 Revelation 6:8-10 | Thomas Doubter and Believer, Easter 2C, 15 April 2007. John 20: 19-31 | ""Why do you look for the living among the dead?" Easter Sunday, 8 April 2007, Luke 24:1-10 | Good Friday 6 April 2007 | Maundy Thursday 5 April 2007 | Why are we not surprised? Palm/Passion Sunday C, 1 April 2007, Luke 22:39-23:50 | Party or Pout? Lent 4C, 18 March 2007, Luke 15:11-32 | To Stand on the Mountaintop, Lent 3C, 11 March 2007, Exodus 3:1-15 | "Ways Not Taken", Lent 2C, 4 March 2007. Luke 13:22-35 | "Liminal Thresholds and Lintels", Lent 1C, 25 February 2007, Luke 4:1-13 | Ash Wednesday Meditation 2007 | "Transfiguration and Transformation, Epiphany Last C, 18 February 2007, Luke 9:28-36 | "Weal and Woe", Epiphany 6C, 11 February 2007, Luke 6:17-26 | "Who, me?" Epiphany 5C, 4 February 2007, Luke 5:1-11 | "Filled with rage!" Epiphany 4C, 28 January 2007, Luke 4:21-32 | "The Spirit of the Lord is upon us," Epiphany 3C, 21 January 2007, Luke 4:14-21 | "Weddings and Miracles," Epiphany 2C, 14 January 2007, John 2:1-11 | Schism and Epiphany, Epiphany 1C, 7 Dec 2007, Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Trinity C 2007

Whenever Trinity Sunday comes around I suspect we all struggle together to try to make some sense of it all. Just think about the various phrases we use: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer? Presence, wisdom, power? Womb of life, word in flesh, brooding spirit? Almighty God, incarnate word, holy comforter? Even something like: primordial nature, consequent nature, superjective nature? Which doesn’t make any sense to me at all and complicates my own thinking about the Trinity immensely. All of these phrases have been used to refer to the Trinity. I personally still fall back on the Classical formulation: God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This classical phrase serves to remind me that it is the one living God we are talking about and not three disembodied, separate, and disconnected beings.

One minister, embarking on the struggle of preparing a Trinity Sunday sermon turned to her spouse. She wrote: “Talking about the Trinity is not easy, so I went to the other theologian in our house – no, not the cat. Our cat doesn’t study God; he thinks he is God. No, I asked my kind, thoughtful and very smart husband, Allen, how I might speak about the Trinity. His response? “What’s the point of talking about the Trinity? It’s the most useless doctrine in all of Christianity.”

What kernels of truth might we glean from staying with this notion of the Trinity? She went on: “I can tell you what insight Allen gleaned from staying with it. Dissatisfied with his initial response to my query about the Trinity, I chased -- I mean followed -- him around the house asking my questions. In the kitchen: “If the idea of the Trinity is so useless, why has it stuck around so long?” In the den: “Useless? Totally useless?” In that tiny corner in the basement he thought I didn’t know about: “Father-Son-Holy Ghost? Creator- Redeemer-Sustainer? I end all my sermons with that Trinitarian formula! Has it all really been for naught? Surely there’s something helpful about the idea of the Trinity!”

“Maybe it was having his back to the basement wall that did it, but as my last question hung between us, I saw the light bulb click on. His eyes widening, Allen said: “The Trinity reveals the creative, the ethical, and the mystical.” In response to my theologically astute “HUH?” he went on, “The essence of God is creative. That’s what God does, God creates. And Jesus’ whole thing was doing good; God sent Jesus to show us how to live–that’s ethics. And the mystical? The mystical is all that Spirit stuff–prayer, meditation, being fully present with God, with ourselves, and with others.”

“By this time, Allen was so excited that he was chasing -- I mean, following --- me- around the house. “And the important thing about the Trinity,” he said, “Father-Son-Holy Ghost, creative-ethical-mystical– however you name it–the important thing about the Trinity is that all three partners go together, all three are equal, mutually-related, interdependent.” At that point, he took a breath, which I took as my cue to make a run for it.

“And tell them about the image of God!” he yelled after me. (“You tell them about the image of God,” I thought.) But I asked sweetly: “What about the image of God, Honey?” “Well, the image of God,” he said, “is this mutual balance of creative, ethical, and mystical...and since we’re created in the image of God...”

“Then I got it,” She wrote. “ Since God’s essence is this three-way dance of creative, ethical, and mystical and since we are created in God’s image, then we are whole, which is to say, most God-like when the creative, ethical, and mystical dance interdependently in our lives. And when the creative—our imaginative thinking—the ethical—what we do and how we decide to do it—and the mystical—how we pray—when the creative, the ethical, and the mystical dance interdependently in our lives, then we are dancing with the Trinity.” (1)

In such ordinary circumstances as this challenging and humorous conversation – and chase dance – between spouses can new theological concepts be born. I myself prefer simply to accept the glory of the mystery at the heart of the Trinity. I know I will never understand it. Some thinkers much more profound than I, beginning with Saint Augustine and not ending with Dorothy Sayers in the 20th Century can see Trinitarian forms and formulations in all creation. But on one Sunday each year, Trinity Sunday forces me to think again and more deeply about this wonderful God who loves us. And that is Trinitarian grace made manifest indeed.

1. “Dancing with the Trinity", The Rev. Dr. Kim Buchanan, June 3, 2007, Trinity Sunday,