June 16, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, FL
Proverbs 8, 22-31 + Psalm 8 + Romans 5, 1-5 + John 16, 12-15
I have never cared for the custom of calling the Sunday after Pentecost, “Trinity Sunday.” In more recent years someone decided that the title for the Sunday after Pentecost is the “Most Holy Trinity” as though there was a “Least Holy Trinity” or a “More Holy Trinity”. Too many words! When God puts me in charge, we will call the Sunday after Pentecost “Love Sunday”, because that gets to the heart of the matter, and doesn’t seem nearly as complicated the “Trinity.” My friends, Trinity is the destiny of our lives, because Trinity is Love, the love of God, the love God has for us, revealed in the love God has for Jesus Christ.
In most of our lives, we do not reveal ourselves at any depth to those we do not love, and we reveal ourselves in proportion to the love we feel. The Trinity is nothing more than God’s total self-revelation to us. It reveals Gods very nature and God’s most intimate life as nothing more than total, unconditional love. Just as we do with people we meet along the way; our self-revelation is gradual and progressive. The first time we meet someone, we don’t tell them our deepest dreams and hopes, our needs, wants, and most intimate secrets. If someone does that to me, I run! This is a progressive experience, and what is shared depends upon our capacity and need. You know what it’s like when someone tells you something about themselves that crosses a line. You begin to think: “I didn’t need to know that.” With God it has been the same. What has been revealed is gradual.
It all began with Abraham and God’s self-revelation with the truth that there is only one God followed by the gradual understanding and faithful response of Abraham’s descendants. Then, in a sense, when God felt confident that we had accepted that measure of revelation, more came in the form of God’s only Son, who revealed more of God’s nature as loving mercy. Then to those who did not refuse this revelation, more came with the gift of the Spirit finally revealing the most intimate and intense nature of God that can only be called: “love.”
In this place, we are exactly like the disciples in that room around a table, and Jesus speaks to us today with a message that should leave us stunned as the implication slowly sinks in. “The Father will take what is mine and declare it yours.” Everything that Jesus has is given to us by this Spirit. Think what that means! We are drawn into the relationship Jesus has with his Father. Whether we deserve it or not is irrelevant. By the power of God’s Spirit given to us, we can relate to God just as did Jesus. The essence of the Trinity is personal relationship of love between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. When that Spirit enters us, we are in that relationship.
The Trinity then is the destiny of our lives. It gives us something to look forward to. The next life will not be like summer re-runs of TV. “Eye has not seen nor ear heard what God as ready for those how love him”. However, just as in this life, the consummation of love is union as with a husband and wife, so too in the next life the consummation of love will be in union, but not with a creature, but with the Creator. That union with God is our destiny, and so, love and the union it brings is our mission and our purpose in this life: to heal whatever is broken, to reveal the forgiving mercy of the Father and the patient love of God. The more we realize who we are and what has happened to us with the Spirit, God’s very breath in us, we will a people truly holy, truly blessed, and fully restored to the way we were created to be in the beginning. Everything we do and everything we say will give, as our prayer goes, Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy as it was in the beginning is now ever shall be.