Monday, May 27, 2013

Trinity Sermon tidbits, but no sharks

Mom is going to be very disappointed.

I posted this picture on Facebook yesterday, which was Trinity Sunday, as you may know since I've been talking about it endlessly, it seems. This sweet young thing is displaying her Sunday School drawing which has pink sharks, hearts, and cherries. I noted on Facebook there were three of everything and said, "You should have heard the sermon!" But there were no sharks in the Trinity Sunday sermon. Maybe next year.

Instead, I reacted to a completely different piece of art in my sermon: the famous icon of the Holy Trinity by Rublev. Because I realized, as I thought about it, that it captured something I find troubling about -- not the Trinity, but the way we talk about the Trinity: as a completely enmeshed and encapsulated system, God looking only at God's own self.

Because the God I encountered in the Scripture for last Sunday is far more interested in people than in God's own self. "What is man that you should be mindful of him? The son of man that you should seek him out?" says the Psalmist. And in the Gospel, it isn't the "I and the Father are one" that I might have expected, but instead lots of talk about stuff being given to you, the "you" being the disciples.

And as I thought about it, what I saw was a Trinity not lost in contemplation of its own Godliness, but a Trinity that attempts through every avenue possible to reach us humans, and who doesn't really seem to care what form that takes. My sense is that God really doesn't care if we understand God, because God knows we won't be able to, but that the attempt to build that relationship is all that matters.

So I talked about that a bit. Something like that. It was probably heretical. I'm certain I have that icon all wrong. But there you go. Next year, I'm swimming with the sharks. It will probably be safer.

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