Monday, 12 June 2017

The truth revealed.

Isaiah 40: 12-17, 27-31 (page 600 in our pew Bibles) The primal and overriding majesty and glory of God espoused in lovely poetic terms. 
2 Corinthians 13: 11-14 (page 971 in our pew Bibles) The very end of this letter that includes what we all know and say in many situations and services called "The Grace", obviously because of its Trinitarian nature.
Matthew 28: 16-20 (page 835 in our pew Bibles) The end of Matthew's gospel called "the great commission" because we are called to baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Claire my daughter spent a great deal of her life in and around church and she often used to ask me "What's your sermon about this week Dad?"
It became a bit of a family in-joke that I would always say "God".
Well this week is cartainly about the being of God but it made me think about what it was about on another level and what this week is really all about is revelation!
As I wrote on my email- No-one wanting to start a new religion, especially a monotheistic one would have come up with the notion of the "Trinity" by choice. We have had the notion of the three fold nature of one God revealed to us.
Do I fully understand the Trinity? No, but God has revealed himself in this way so I accept it and offer the maxim of Anselm of Canterbury - Credo ut Intelligam - I believe so that I may understand.
The Fathers of the church had it revealed to them through scripture and the Spirit speaking through the church community after much argument. The notion of the Trinity did not come easily -  They discerned this spiritually.
In psalm 42 it says “Deep speaks to deep” and the deep of God’s nature and purpose spoke to the deep of the church’s consciousness and revealed to us in this way.
It was Anselm of Canterbury who noted that I don’t need to understand before I can believe – I believe in order that I might understand.
Through the Trinity we can look at Jesus, his character, action and service and know that this is what God is like. Jesus revealed him to us.
When we experience a movement of the Spirit in our lives, we know that Jesus is with us, animated by the same spirit that led Jesus.
The Trinity is therefore a very practical concept and not an obscure theological construct. In prayer we pray to God the Father – Jesus taught us to pray to “our” Father – the creator and sourceless source of all things.
We pray through Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us, who knows our human faults and frailties so can represent us perfectly.
We pray in the mysterious power of the Holy Spirit, the active spirit of God who is our link between our soul, through Jesus to the Father.
In Paul’s words “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19) so we know that God’s will is redemptive and reconciling, and done our of his nature which s essentially loving. Love in the Bible is essentially “self sacrificial” rather than pink hearts and flowers.
Love is practical and down to earth – it achieves something.
Finally, Matthew’s gospel begins and ends with God’s presence and the means of that presence is Jesus who Matthew describes as Emmanuel or “God with us” and at the end of his gospel has Jesus tell us that He will be with us to the end of the age.
So Jesus is with us now, but how? He is here by his Spirit, which is sent by the Father which is also the spirit of Jesus.
What are we to do with this knowledge? We are to go to the nations and baptise people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit says Matthew.
God above us, God beside us, and God within us. The God who is all in all.
The Holy Trinity is God revealed to us by Himself. 

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