Watching for the Morning of May 22, 2016
The Feast of the Holy Trinity
Two weeks ago I celebrated a baptism of a small child at a local park. Why is another conversation. Baptism belongs in the worshipping community, but this seemed the right thing to do. It was a lovely spot, beneath a sculpted arbor, shaded by old trees, with a pond behind us and a fountain in the distance. It was a place that invited hands to be joined, lovers to kiss, vows to be spoken, and those long together to pause in tender affection. How perfect that we should gather as a small community in that peaceful spot to hear God claim this child as God’s own – an inheritor of God’s promised new creation and participant in God’s mission to the world.
Three times we poured water over the head of the child “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Not three names; one name. One name identifying the God upon whom we called as the one who brought forth the world in love, became incarnate of the maiden Mary, and breathed upon the followers of Jesus to empower their witness to the world. One name linking creation and redemption and sanctification. One name known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to Moses and Miriam, to Hannah and Samuel, to Ruth and David as LORD. One name who breathed into humanity the breath of life and by the breath of the Spirit summons us back to himself. One name, One God, Triune but one. Begetter and Begotten. Loving and beloved in God’s very being. Mystery to us. But lover of us. Calling us to live in that divine love.
The texts for Sunday go several different directions. Proverbs relates wisdom, the underlying order of the world, personified and summoning us to feast at her table. The Psalm speaks of God’s creating, and the honor shown humanity: a little lower than the angels but entrusted to exercise God’s dominion, God’s care over all the earth. Romans exults in the peace with God wrought in Christ, and the Spirit’s presence as one through whom “God’s love has been poured into our hearts”. And Jesus, in John’s Gospel, again declaring the gift and work of the Spirit.
The texts point several directions, but are tied together by this mystery of the Trinity: the God who is beyond conception but is known by a work and a name: “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
The Prayer for May 22, 2016
O God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
of Moses and Miriam,
of Ruth and David,
of Mary and Joseph;
God wrapped in mystery and wonder,
who breathed life into our first parents
and your Holy Spirit into all creation;
God who loves and fathers and sends
and is loved and begotten and sent;
help us to praise you rightly,
love you fully
and walk with you faithfully.
The Texts for May 22, 2016
First Reading: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work.” – Wisdom, the knowledge of the fundamental truths of existence, is personified as a teacher and speaks of its role in the formation of all things.
Psalmody: Psalm 8
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them?” – A song of praise marveling at God’s care for human beings and their role as stewards of God’s creation.
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Gospel: John 16:12-15
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth”