Sermon for Trinity Sunday

“He therefore that would be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity”

My text comes not directly from the Scriptures but from the Scriptures credally understood, from the Athanasian Creed, to be more precise, itself one of the three catholic creeds of the universal Church. It is rarely used and yet it speaks most wonderfully and profoundly to the central and essential mystery of the Christian Faith as well as to the spiritual nature of the great religions of the world. It is all about the Trinity, about God revealed in the witness of the Scriptures as Trinity, the three-in-one and the one-in-three, God as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The important point is that the Creeds come out of the Scriptures and return us to the Scriptures within a pattern of understanding – an understanding above all else about God. We cannot not think God. In the Christian understanding thinking God means thinking the Trinity.

This is the essential insight of the Christian Faith but it belongs as well to the deeper meaning of all of the great religions of the world. As the great nineteenth century German philosopher, Hegel, observes, the Trinity is adumbrated – shadowed forth – in some way or another in all of the great religions of the world. At issue is how do we think the Trinity?

The Trinity is the fullest possible statement about the spiritual reality of God: God in his self-sufficient majesty and truth. This is a day where we stand on our heads, as it were. We are enveloped in mysteries which we strive to think knowing that we are struggling with what is inescapably beyond our grasp and yet cannot not be thought. Such is worship which is why the lesson on this day is from The Book of the Revelation of St. John the Divine. It presents us with a vision of heaven but even more with a vision of worship, the worship of the whole of creation. It is in worship that our humanity achieves its greatest dignity and highest honour. Our souls are made apt for worship. We are made for worship and for worship, in the language of Isaiah which John deliberately recalls here, of the thrice-holy God, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Worship is about thinking God.

Think about that for a moment and realize how much that runs counter to our culture and church. It is not simply about us and about what pleases us as if entertaining ourselves and making us feel good about ourselves was the aim and purpose of the Church. No. It is first and foremost about God and only then the discovery of things about the truth of ourselves in God. Such is the true meaning of worship: God and us in God.

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Week at a Glance, 1 – 7 June

Monday, June 1st
6:00-7:00pm Brownies/Sparks – Parish Hall

Tuesday, June 2nd
6:00pm ‘Prayers & Praises’ – Haliburton Place

Thursday, June 4th
6:30-7:30pm Girl Guides – Parish Hall

Saturday, June 6th
2:00pm Committal of Gilmore Huntley

Sunday, June 6th, The First Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion (followed by Men’s Breakfast for the Ladies)
10:30am Holy Communion

Trinity Sunday

The collect for today, the Octave Day of Pentecost, commonly called Trinity Sunday, from The Book of Common Prayer (Canadian, 1962):

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee, that this holy faith may evermore be our defence against all adversities; who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Lesson: Revelation 4:1-11
The Gospel: St. John 3:1-15

Hemmel, Trinity with SaintsArtwork: Peter Hemmel von Andlau (attrib.), The Trinity with the Virgin, Saints John the Evangelist, Stephen and Lawrence, and a Donor, 1479. Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Sermon for Tuesday after Pentecost

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”

The Monday and Tuesday after Pentecost elaborate upon the Pentecostal theme of our new life in the Spirit. It is about life and light, the life and the light of God which redeems and sanctifies our lives. The days of Pentecost remind us of what belongs to our lives in faith: we participate in the life of God opened out to us by the Word and the Spirit of God. We are gathered into the mystery of the Trinity, the communion of the Divine Life.

The Gospel for the Monday after Pentecost reminds us that “God so loved the world” even in the face of the darkness of sin and evil. It reminds us of the triumph, always, of good over evil, of light over darkness. The Gospel for the Tuesday after Pentecost speaks to our entering into that divine life through Jesus. He is, as he says, “the door” through which we enter into this new and abundant life, the life of God. The readings from The Book of The Acts of The Apostles on both days reveal the stages through which we enter into an understanding of the spiritual reality of God, showing us that is about Word and Spirit, both together and in a kind of harmony.

“I am the door,” Jesus says, “the door of the sheep” who hear and know his voice. In the power of the Spirit, Jesus is calling us to himself in his love for the Father. He is come, he says, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” the super-abundant life of God poured out upon us through the power of the Spirit. “Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire and enlighten with celestial fire.”

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”

Fr. David Curry
Tuesday after Pentecost
May 26th, 2015

Sermon for Pentecost, 2:00pm service of Atlantic Ministry of the Deaf

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind”

Sometimes the things that come upon us suddenly are the things that unsettle us most. Such is the Descent of the Holy Ghost. He came down “suddenly” upon the disciples, but was his coming suddenly a coming unexpectedly? That he came suddenly we read; his coming unexpectedly, we do not read. In fact, Jesus tells us to expect the coming of the Holy Ghost, “commanding them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father,” even the descent of the Holy Ghost.

Yet we may wait expectantly and still be caught unawares, for the realization of what we await may far exceed our expectations and so catch us by surprise. We await for what we do not fully understand. The grace of God is always something more; the mystery of God something more yet again. The promise of the Ascension was the coming down of the Holy Ghost for which Jesus prepares us and bids us wait, yet “suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind.”

Certainly, the effects of this coming down would appear to be most unsettling, the manner of their appearing no less so – “a rushing mighty wind” and “cloven tongues like as of fire” lighting upon the disciples gathered in Jerusalem, filling them with the Holy Spirit and moving them “to speak with other tongues.” To all appearances, an event most unsettling and more than a little disconcerting.

We all know about the winds that unsettle us – the rushing, mighty winds of rumour and slander, of whisperings and murmurings, of allegations and accusations which seek to belittle and destroy. The winds of hatred and revenge are the winds of death. These are the winds that unsettle us. But our Lord would not have us unsettled and troubled. In the midst of the sea-storms of our hearts and our world, even in the midst of the sea-storms of our churches and our communities, he bids the seas be calm and our hearts be still; “it is I,” he says, “have no fear.”

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