Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Blog Entry |

The Sunday Sermon: Trinity Sunday 2014

The Sunday Sermon: Trinity Sunday 2014

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity
June 15, A.D. 2014
The Rev’d Thomas J. Pettigrew, Priest & Rector
The Church of the Holy Cross, Warrensburg, NY

+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 Have you ever stopped to smell the roses? Or ever sat and spent time just looking and being awed and inspired by the beauty and wonder of creation? Have you ever just looked at the natural beauty of the creation and said “Wow”? Maybe, because we live in such a beautiful little part of God’s creation, we sometimes take that for granted. I remember in my first month at College, my roommate, who was from Queens, New York, and I were talking about where we had grown up, and he told me that he had once been on a trip upstate. All he could remember about it and reflect on about that trip was how green it was and how much grass and how many trees there were. The beauty of God’s creation was not something lost on him, as it might be with us.

In 1873, Jules Verne wrote the well-known book “Around the World in Eighty Days.” With our always on the move, always doing something society, if one were to take 80 days to travel around the world, people would wonder what would take you so long. Yet, no matter how many times I’ve seen a beautiful Adirondack mountain-scape, I’m still draw in by the awesomeness and grandness of it all. It still gives me a sense of how big the world is, even as it seems to grow smaller and smaller, and go faster and faster.

Our theme this morning, I want to suggest to you, is awe and wonder. Not at God’s creation, but at the very being of God. We call today the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, or simply “Trinity Sunday.” It’s always the Sunday following the Feast of Pentecost, which is always 50 Days after Easter. And so, in a way, over these last two months, we have considered, through those feasts and now through this one, the very awesomeness of God.

Is awesome a word you use? Or is that my generations word? One of my favorite comedians, Eddie Izzard, made a joke about how we misuse and have sort of lost the real meaning of the word “awesome.” People today, he joked, tend to use the word “Awesome” to describe things like hotdogs. And in the punch line of the joke, the President is on the phone with the first Astronauts to circle the moon and the president asks “What’s it like” and they say “It’s Awesome, Mr. President” to which the president says “Like a hotdog?” – “Like a hundred million hotdogs, sir.”

I admit, it was funnier when he told the joke, but the point which he makes is real. As a culture, we’ve lost in some way, or perhaps we are losing, the ability to really be in awe and wonder. Perhaps it’s because we’re moving to fast, not taking time to smell the roses, or really enjoy that cup of coffee, or allow our selves to become beheld by the glorious sight of a mountain landscape before our eyes.

Today, though, I about taking that time, to simply be awed and amazed at God, in the fullness of who he is: The Holy and undivided Trinity.

For two thousand years, Christians have been awed by the very thought – the very idea of who God is – and it is a WHO – not a WHAT.

God is Trinity – that’s WHO he is. And even the greatest minds, inspired by the Holy Spirit himself, have struggled to comprehend and to express what that really means.

We know that God has revealed himself as One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Not three gods, but one God. Not three modes of that one God, but three persons. Beyond that simple explanation, we can really do no better. Analogies of every sort breakdown, and believe me, they’ve all been tried, and all them have come short of who God really and truly is.

And so, when it comes to fullness of God’s being, we are left with a true mystery. Something which we will always being engaging with, but something which the full comprehension of, will always be beyond our ability to comprehend or imagine.

And honestly, I think that’s a pretty awesome thing.

It’s awesome to realize that God, our God, is that big, that amazing. Cultures in the past have worshipped stone idols. Today, people around the world continue to worship idols: money, power, pleasure. These are things they worship, which they are enslaved to.

But what I think is also an awesome thing is that, You and I, have been given the power to be freed from the slavery and trappings of worldly idols in the Worship of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There is another side of the awesomeness of God’s being which we can hardly begin to grasp. And that’s awesomeness is what he has revealed about himself to us, and what he has done for us. And that Awesome thing is what we are doing here today.

You see, in our Worship of God, we make know to God our needs, or wants, our desires, yes, but we also offer our Praise and our thanksgiving. And in response to that Prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise, God gives us life. Not just any life, but his own life, the life that is his in the Holy Trinity. And the way that God does this is by giving us the resurrected life of His Son, our Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in and through the Sacrament on the Altar.

One of my favorite preachers, Father Austin Farrer, who I’ve quoted to you before, gives this wonderful description of what happens in our Eucharist. He says:

The disciples who were present at the Supper saw and heard Jesus Christ making eucharist [this is thanksgiving] to the Father over the bread and the cup.  They were witnesses of the intercourse between the Eternal Son and his Eternal Father.  Mortal ears and eyes at that moment perceived the movement of speech and love which passes in the heart of the Godhead; human minds entered into that converse of the Divine Persons which is the life and happiness of the Blessed Trinity.  Belief in the Trinity is not a distant speculation; the Trinity is that blessed family into which we are adopted.  God has asked us into his house, he has spread his table before us, he has set out bread and wine.  We are made one body with the Son of God, and in him converse with the Eternal Father, through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.

I don’t think it could have been said any better. You and I, in this Eucharistic Feast are drawn into the life of God because we are made one body in this Sacrament with his Son, our Lord, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

That’s a truth about God’s love for you and for me which should cause us to pause for a moment and wonder because what it means for you and me is indeed, truly awesome and wonderful, like a hundred million hotdogs.

+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.