St Bride's: Sermons

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday

The awesome beauty of Mount Everest

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When I saw David Meara, the Rector, last week I took the opportunity to joke with him that in my experience the Trinity Sunday is when Rectors either get away from the Parish, or preach on every subject under the Sun, apart from the Trinity.

But I know that it is the Pilgrimage that has taken David and others away, and we hope they have a wonderful and uplifting time.

In the news this past week Mount Everest, and the 2 other peaks, has featured with Kenton Cool having climbed all 3. Also in the news this week, the oldest man to reach the summit was 80 year old Japanese man, Yulchiro Mlura

Reading that, I was reminded as I prepared for today, of a climber who was asked to describe the awesome beauty of Mount Everest. He had replied, "I cannot: it is too vast; too beautiful; too great. But I have seen it. And I have experienced its atmosphere."

If I was asked, to describe, simply, what the Trinity is, I might have the same answer as the description given of Everest and of anything of great beauty, which inspires awe and mystery:

"It is too vast. It is too great. It is best described by experience."

For the concept of the Doctrine of the Trinity came from experience: Experience of God in action - God working in His world - God working through his people.

To see this, we need to go first to the Old Testament. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was one God: "You will have no other Gods but me" - a "one God"- monotheistic religion.

Then came Jesus, and he talked of God as "Father". In his teaching, through the miracles. Through his death and resurrection, we see too, and come to understand, that he is God - and yet, the dutiful Son. We have two parts of the triangle of the Trinity.

God: Father and Son. This was seen and understood by the followers' experience.

Then - at the end of our Lord's career, he talks of another. A counsellor. A comforter. His followers are to wait upon another. And then, at Pentecost, it is experienced.

There is that word again - experience. A new aspect of God is experienced. A new power through the name of his Son: the Spirit from the Father, the Spirit through the Son, the power of God Himself - the Holy Spirit of God.

And there - in that moment - we have the Doctrine of the Trinity. Not cleverly worked out by theologians but understood because of people's experience of God in their lives.

Different aspects of God working in the lives of those in the early church.

Yes, all well and good, but what has that got to do with me? With us?

Well - everything - as the Trinity is not merely a theological exercise. It is about experiencing all aspects of God in our lives. To see God as Creator, Protector, Father or as St Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, the father we are allowed to call "Abba" - "Daddy".

Which gives us a close, uncomplicated relationship, of great trust in the one who would lead us by the hand.

We see the Son, as the one through whom we are brought close to this God, and to see the Holy Spirit as the power, that keeps us in this closeness. To see the wholeness of God with us, in us and around us.

John Halliburton who was at St Paul's Cathedral, said:-

"The mystery of the Trinity is very profound. Whilst we remain deeply convinced about the uniqueness of the one God, We must rejoice in the revelation of this one God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But in the end, it remains a Mystery"

The Trinity may remain a mystery, but I hope in accepting the mystery as being "too vast, too beautiful, too great", we might still be able to see, and experience its atmosphere, in our worship and in our lives.

Hoping and praying that God might make His presence felt, in all it's power.

And that the different aspects of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, might be real, for us all - sustaining and strengthening us: day by day.

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