May I speak in the name of the one God: Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Amen.
Today is Trinity Sunday, the day in the church calendar when we celebrate the great mystery of God who is three in one and one in three. It’s easy to get bogged down in the complexities of how that works, how God can be one God, and yet be the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all at the same time. But that’s not what Trinity Sunday should be about. It’s not primarily an invitation to a complex theological debate, but to a joyful celebration of the great mystery which is at the heart of who God is.
The key to entering in to the mystery of the Trinity – not understanding it, but entering in to it – is relationship. At the heart of who God is, is relationship, because God is Love, and Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Love must entail relationship. And so we see this relationship at the heart of God. Whether we talk about Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer; Source of all Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit. Whatever language we use is only an imperfect description of the loving relationship which exists in God, and in which God exists.
[Volunteers x3 to hold: plant, cross, flame.]
God is creator [plant]. God is redeemer [cross]. God is sustainer [flame]. God is all of these and God is each of these, in relationship with each other. [Place string around volunteers] But the relationship doesn’t stop there, this isn’t a closed circle. God creates us [plant]. God redeems us [cross]. God sustains us [flame]. And in so doing, God invites us into relationship with God, into the love at the heart of the Trinity. And so the circle expands to include all of us.
[Send children with string to encircle congregation, meeting by door.]
And that relationship, that love, doesn’t stop with us either. God invites us into relationship, and from the place of love sends us out to invite others into relationship too, with God and with us. We see it in today’s gospel: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” And so the circle doesn’t stop here at the door.
[Get children to roll balls of string out of door.]
The love which God extends to us, we must extend to others, beyond our doors, beyond our comfort zone. Imagine our balls of string stretching out across the churchyard, through the town, around the country, and right the way around the world. This is what God’s love is like: all-encompassing, never-ending, open to everyone. God is Love, and that’s why to really know God we have to accept his invitation to enter into the mystery of the infinitely loving relationship at the heart of the Trinity, into the heart of Godself.
And from that place of love we have to be ready to go out, as Jesus commands, and share that love with everyone, inviting them to share in the mystery of God who is both three and one. Isaiah asks “Have you not seen? Have you not heard?” And so many haven’t. So however imperfect our understanding of God, of the glorious mystery of the Trinity, we need to be ready to go out and share our faith, however inadequate it seems to us, in our schools and workplaces and public spaces. Because we have good news worth sharing: God is love; God loves you; there is no greater mystery than this.