Holy God, Three in One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: pull us into your sacred mystery today, and fill our hearts with love for you. Amen
Today is Trinity Sunday – a Sunday that is set aside in the Church calendar to talk about one of the most challenging and mysterious of all Christian doctrines: the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One God in three persons.
And with a topic like that, this could be a heavy sermon full of five-syllable theological words and lots of heresy – after all, as I read this week, “common wisdom is that if you discuss the Trinity for longer than a few minutes, you will slip into heresy, because you are probing the depths of God too deeply.”
So I’m going to avoid that, and instead I’m going to issue an invitation, based on our beautiful little passage from Romans today.
Because in fact, the point of Trinity Sunday is not about getting mired in heavy theological questions, nor is it even abut finding answers. It is an invitation. It’s an invitation to know God just a little bit better. To take the divine hand that is being held out to you, and to step into a sacred space of mystery. And once you are there, it’s an invitation to fall in love just a little bit more with our amazing, beautiful God.
Trinity Sunday always follows the celebration of Pentecost in the church: the story of the first time the Spirit came down in power to fill the believers. And this timing is important, because we are fresh from the wonder of the revelation of the third, and most mysterious person of the Trinity.
For those of you who were here last week for Pentecost, Father Murray took us on a journey of some of the Pentecost, Holy Spirit moments through time – times when the hearts of believers had grown cold, when love for Jesus and the marvel of what He has done had grown faint and dim, and faithful people have fallen to their knees begging the Holy Spirit to fall anew on the church and on themselves, to ignite again a fire of love for Jesus.
Murray told us how these prayers have been answered across time and around the world, with the rush of the Holy Spirit, with hearts being set on fire, with lives being changed and churches being renewed.
And he invited us to pray for the Holy Spirit to pour out the fire of love here, in this place, to have the willingness to step deeper into the Beautiful Mystery of God. To let the Spirit change us yet again, to soften our hearts further, and set them on fire again with new love for Jesus.
I have to confess: I nearly cheered for him, because this is exactly what I have been praying for you, the beloved people of Mary and Martha, as well as for myself, and Beth, and for the rest of the Diocese of Toronto: for the Spirit to come again in power, to pour out the fire of God’s love upon us, to fill us to the brim with the joy and wonder of the good, good news of Jesus.
To let this be the little church that blazes at the corner of Eglinton and Weston, a fire that cannot be extinguished.
Because what the world needs, my friends, is the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We had a different sort of good news this week, didn’t we?
The good news of the Raptors win was a welcome relief from the general trend of the news these days. It was a brilliant night – the streets full of rejoicing, people shouting, cars honking, fireworks being let off until the wee hours of the morning. I saw a video of a TTC bus full of people singing the national anthem – strangers united in joy and celebration. It was amazing.
The Raptors are the first Canadian team to win the NBA title. It was a wonderful moment for our city and our country, and let’s just say: it’s worth celebrating.
But I think part of what made that night so good is that our city, and our world, have been living with a burden of deep and growing anxiety. The headlines on Friday were headlines of joy instead of sorrow, a taste of good news that feels all too rare these days, a brief pause from the usual heartbreaking news of poverty and injustice, of climate change anxieties, of increasing racial discrimination and fear around the world, and education and health cuts right here at home. Anxiety is growing.
And what the world needs desperately, so desperately is to hear a deeper Good News than even the Raptors winning the Championship. The world needs News that doesn’t just make us forget our worries, but that rises above and goes deeper than our deepest fears and concerns. That addresses them at a fundamental level.
And Trinity Sunday is a day when we are reminded that our God is far bigger, and stronger, and more complex, and deeper, and wiser, and closer, and more intimate, and more loving than we can begin to comprehend. That all of the problems addressing the world today are not beyond him. That our God is able to enter into the most horrible of situations, and transform them. That in Christ Jesus, God has taken to the Cross all of the powers of sin and death that seem so strong, and crushed them. The horrors that we see in our world are real. But they will not have the last word.
This is the Good News that our world, our city, our community of Mount Dennis, and our children and grandchildren and best friends and neighbours need to hear.
They need to hear that every single person is beloved and known by God, themselves included. That Jesus has taken the burden of our own brokenness and sin and shame upon himself, and has offered us in return peace: peace with God, a peace that the world can never give. And they need to hear the Good News that the Holy Spirit longs to enter every human heart, and fill it with overwhelming love.
Our world needs people who are on fire with the love of this Trinitarian God – this Father who cares for his children, this Son who gave himself for them, and this Spirit who lives in them and pours love into their hearts. That is the Good News that will never grow old, and never fade away.
Well known evangelist Billy Graham once said this in a sermon,
“Where is the Hope? I meet millions who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the Hope? The Hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed or what great things we do as a nation. Our Hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that’s where our Hope is in this country, and that’s where our Hope is in this life.”
The power of God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working through the hearts of people, that is the Good News.
My dear friends, God loves you so very much, and so longs to reveal more and more and more of himself to you in a never-ending journey of discovery and wonder. Mary and Martha is a beautiful, exciting church to be a part of, filled with beautiful people who love God dearly. And God longs to reveal himself to each one of you more and more fully, to invite you into this divine dance of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of whom are pouring themselves out endlessly so that you can be enriched in faith and bring glory to God.
My prayer for you this week, and in the weeks and months and years to come, is that God would set in each person here a deep hunger to know and love God better. That the people of SMSM would see themselves as infinitely precious – that you are the dwelling place of God, the image of God, with the love of God poured into your hearts.
My prayer is that you would be so filled with the love of God through the Holy Spirit that you would be strong in proclaiming your hope and your peace in the face of suffering. That you would be given certainty of the grace in which you stand through Jesus Christ. And that you would be filled to the brim with the love of God through the Holy Spirit.
In the Holy Name of our glorious God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.