Friday, May 9, 2008

Preaching Trinity (2)

I am grateful for your feedback so far. Students planning next Tuesday's worship service are going to show Andrei Rublev's famous fifteenth icon The Holy Trinity as a backdrop to my sermon. Based upon the three visitors to Abraham (Gen 18), its three figures represent Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The figures' colors and attitudes speak volumes. They sit on three sides of a table with a chalice between them, offered to us on the open fourth side.

Of course, as a picture of the Trinity, it wildly oversimplifies mystery and doctrine, and yet it memorably expresses the togetherness of God's three-in-one community, and the wonder of his hospitality extended to us by his three persons. It evokes imagination - how joining in with God's fellowship raises the bar, and burns off all the unworthy, petty, angry, envious thoughts and behavior we have. Have you ever known what it is to be in the presence of a truly great person of love and spirit and found yourself drawn to higher ways of thinking and behaving? Just think what it is like to experience community fellowship with God. Wow!

The intensively practical conclusion to 2 Cor 13: 11-14 (the set text), stands no hope of working if left to human endeavor - aim for perfection, be of one mind, live in peace. Fat chance! But if our triune God shares community with us..why, yes, a people could live in new godly ways. So when 2 Cor. ends with the threefold blessing: "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" there is a real possibility of being his people, his way. The Trinity is profound doctrine but also intensely practical. It's a great promise to live by.

1 comment:

wsuriano said...

The "doctrine" of the trinity is solidly Biblical but, boy, is it hard to even come close to getting one's mind around. I've heard so many attempts to explain it with human examples that all fall short in some way or another. I appreciate your perspective of thinking of the trinity not only as a doctrine but also as a practical "experience." We don't need to understand fully the doctrine to participate fully in the experience. You've come up with another fresh perspective that really helps us understand God's love for us.