Monday, June 4, 2012

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday is that Sunday that comes right after Pentecost. And, likely as not, if you’ve been around the church at all, you’ve sung to the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. You’ve worshiped and served, bathed in the beauty and wonder of the Trinity. I am always running into someone who will say: “Why don’t we just do away with Trinity and just talk about God; is it enough just believe in God?” No. That’s what our world wants us to do. They want to simplify everything down to its minimum, even God. In the world’s story, God is the creator who made it all like the great watchmaker and set it in motion, leaving everything up to us. It’s all up to us. God stepped back and let it run. Or, we worship the god of the philosophers. God is an idea, a concept. God is the “ground of all being”. God is “ultimate being”. Take your pick. In philosophy, which I love, God only gets to be an idea or concept. God is nice to think about. The idea of God is a concept around which we organize our lives and our world, but God, this god, cannot actually do anything. It’s, again, all up to us. The Trinity is about a God who is so big that we cannot get our minds around him. We cannot understand God completely. The Gospel for Trinity Sunday (year b) is John 3, the story of Nicodemus. Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, is supposed to know everything. But, he is in the dark and comes to Jesus, Mr. Light, to learn. Jesus tells him that he must be born again, from above, to see the Kingdom of God. It’s about the Spirit. It’s something God does in and through us. It’s God’s doing. Nicodemus asks: “How can this be?” Jesus says: “Now you’ve got it…God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” Augustine says that God has “plentitude”. God is filled full of love and grace. God is so effusive that the Trinity is always in movement in the world. Augustine sees this in flowers. He says that we would have been happy, maybe, with one or two flowers. Not God. God creates thousands of varieties of flowers. Don’t reduce this god down to something we can understand. No. C. S. Lewis says that when you pray you are seeking God, knowing that you are seeking God because God has moved you within to see God. If you’re a Christian, he says, you know that everything that you know about God was given to you in Jesus Christ, and that he prays for you and is standing beside you when you pray. You see, says C.S. Lewis, God is the thing he is seeking, and God is the one motivating him to seek. And, God is the one who stands close, painfully close, to the one praying. God is also the road, the way, to the future which is God, in all and through all. Got it? Not hardly. It’s just that God is so big, so large, so effusive that we cannot trim him down to our size. God has not left everything to us, but is alive and working in us, in and through the church, in and through the world, to do what he set out to do, to make the Kingdom of God. Thanks be to God. Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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