Geranium Farm Home     Who's Who on the Farm     The Almost Daily eMo     Subscriptions     Coming Events     Links
Hodgepodge     More or Less Church     Ways of the World     Father Matthew     A Few Good Writers     Bookstore
Light a Prayer Candle     Message Board     Donations     Gifts For Life     Pennies From Heaven     Live Chat

More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
Send emails to: or add a comment on an existing post.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday Focus: A Mystery Story with a Happy Ending

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28: 16-20

 Who’s older: the Father or the Son? Who’s more powerful: the Father or the Holy Spirit? Who loves us more: the wrathful God of the Flood or Christ on the cross? If we are the Body of Christ, what’s our relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit? And just who’s really in charge in heaven? Who gets to call the shots?

Confused enough already? You’re not alone. The mystery of the Trinity has consumed the brilliance of theologians for centuries. And the arguments have not been confined to polite little dust-ups between scholars. They’ve kicked off schisms, crusades and holy wars, pitting zealot against zealot and sacrilegiously slaughtering untold innocents in the name of God.
And yet here we are on Trinity Sunday, two thousand years later, to celebrate what has been called the central mystery of our faith. What’s all the fuss about? And does it really matter? At times scripture can be ambiguous. Is any given subject being treated metaphorically or literally? But there is nothing ambiguous or metaphorical about the Bible’s references to the Trinity. From Genesis to Revelation, the Trinity is a matter of fact, not speculation. In today’s gospel Jesus matter of factly affirms the Trinity: …in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostles Creed, the Nicean Creed, all the earliest attempts to codify Christian belief, begin with an expression of faith in the mystery of the Trinity. I take great comfort in our regular recitation of the Creed as an integral part of the mass. But our spiritual and intellectual limitations are such that even years of prayer and contemplation cannot produce an understanding that transcends an acceptance of the Trinity as anything other than a profound mystery of faith. And that is as it should be.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, my own faith journey has produced a personally “dumbed-down” grasp of the mystery that you might find useful. Start with an acceptance of the basics of the Trinity: We worship one God in three divine persons. Those persons are contemporary and consubstantial. As the Creed tells us, they are: “…one in being.” There is no hierarchy in God. The origin of the word “person” gives us some insight into the mystery of the Trinity. “Person” denotes the role being played or the function fulfilled. In this case, there are three distinct roles that define the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.  Then put the three persons in the context of God as love … not love as something that God does, but love as precisely what God is. Augustine tells us: “You see the Trinity if you see love.” We grasp the Trinity more readily with our hearts than we do with our intellects. With that perspective, look at the persons of the Trinity as discrete expressions of God’s love. For example, what we do defines us: as mother, father, student, doctor, lawyer, teacher, mechanic. What God does defines him as: Creator, Redeemer, Paraclete… three aspects of love coalesced in one loving God. It’s still a mystery…but one that we know the divine Author will solve for us in the end. Better yet, it’s a love story that guarantees us a happy ending.

God of delight,
you Wisdom sings your Word
at the crossroads where humanity and divinity meet.
Invite us into your joyful being
where you know and are known
in each beginning,
in all sustenance,
in every redemption,
that we may manifest your unity
in the diverse ministries you entrust to us,
truly reflecting your triune majesty
in the faith that acts,
in the hope that does not disappoint,
and in the love that endures.        Amen


Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © 2003-Present Geranium Farm - All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any materials on this web site for any purpose
other than personal use without written consent is prohibited.