Pastor’s Corner: Contrasting Sundays

June 8, 2022

One of the ironies of the Church’s thematic year – one reflected in the series of readings called the “Revised Common Lectionary,” which I use to choose Scripture texts each Sunday – is the contrast between Pentecost Sunday last week and Trinity Sunday this week.

Pentecost Sunday includes a lot of mystery, to be sure (how did they speak in all those languages?), but at its core it’s about questions that get answered. “What’s going on?” asked the crowd. “This is God’s Spirit poured out,” said Simon Peter. “What shall we do?” asked the crowd. “Receive God’s grace and be baptized,” said Simon Peter.

I grant you that those answers have complications of their own, but Simon Peter did the best he could to make things clear.

This Sunday, however, the theme is the Trinity, which may be the most mysterious of all Christian doctrines. Countless thinkers have dripped a lot of forehead sweat reflecting on the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They’ve used a lot of air to argue and a lot of ink to record their arguments.

Despite all the argument, the Trinity remains a mystery.

There are some things I can say with some confidence. First, people have experienced God in very different ways over the centuries. It’s been more than just three. Isaiah saw God as a monarch with a royal court of angels (Isaiah 6). Ezekiel’s vision was of strange living creatures (Ezekiel 1). Moses, of course, found God in a fiery bush that was not consumed. God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier is not so strange.

Second, there is something resembling relationship going on within God. Human beings don’t do well alone; God also does not live alone.

Third, God is beyond easy comprehension. Other people are, after all. Why should God be easier to understand than one of us?

Do explore the mystery of the Trinity, for there is wonder to be found in it. Rest easy in its mystery as well, and appreciate the wonder.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , | Posted on June 8, 2022

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