From the Rector - June 2019

Dear Friends,

On June 16th we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is primarily an experience; it is the way we experience God in our lives. But we have turned it into a matter of faith: an idea to be understood. And then we get frustrated when we can’t understand the Trinity and so we defend ourselves, we defend our faith by declaring it a mystery beyond understanding. Yet, of course, the Trinity is a mystery but not because it is a complicated doctrine! It’s a mystery because the Trinity is an Event of Love - and Love is a mystery. We can’t describe Love. We can only experience it; and so it is with the Trinity too.

There are many torturous metaphors to try to ‘understand’ the Trinity: the notion of a Shamrock - 3 leaves joined in one stem, water - existing as ice, steam and liquid, an apple - made of peel, flesh and core, or St. Augustine's analogy of God the lover, Jesus the beloved and the Holy Spirit who is the love that binds them together; three all who are love, all participating in love.

All of these analogies are good as far as they go. But they are all attempts to rationalise what is beyond rationality: they are all attempts to logically examine what is beyond logic. The experience of love is not hallmarked by rationality. The experience of love is not logical.

This month, Anna and I will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary and in the words of the old Preface to the marriage service 'man and woman become one flesh' and 'they begin a new life together in the community'. I believe that the Holy Trinity is a perfect model on which to base our relationships with each other. We assert that the Trinity is co-equal. The three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all equal to each other and yet fulfil different roles.

The Trinity exists together three persons with distinct functions and yet the one God. It is to this ideal we are called in all our relationships. To build a community of love where all are welcomed and respected and thought of as an intimate part of our family and related to ourselves and each other.

The distinctiveness of the three Persons lies in the relationships that relate them to one another. Just as relationships remain vital to the very life of the Trinity, so are they in our life of faith.

It is crucial that we know that Jesus is with us always, until the end of the world. And we encounter that saving, transforming presence as we embrace it in the person of our neighbour.

So this month, Trinity Sunday calls us to an experience of love - but one that stirs us into action: obedience to God’s commandments, which has an outworking in love towards him but. just as importantly, love towards others too.

There is nothing passive about love. As believers, we are constantly being re-made in the image of God and called to mirror that into the world through our words and actions and loving service. As we practice the presence of God in our lives, so we will become more concerned for the well-being of others and seek to serve them to the best of our ability.

My prayer is that we will journey on together to become mirrors in the world of the grace, compassion, love and hospitality of God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.