Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.
‘Threefold in power and love’
Christianity was derived from Judaism when various social forces sought a more universal expression of their monotheistic faith. The early Christians Jews and Greeks, in the philosophical context of Neo-
The doctrine of the Trinity was worked out in the third to early sixth centuries and laid out in the Nicene and Athanasian creeds. The doctrine has to do with salvation, with a conviction that the “true Light” of the “true God” was/is encountered in Jesus and in the Church that is both a Spirit-
Still, at least one prominent 20th-
Because Christianity derived from monotheistic Judaism, it did not we do not posit three gods. The Athanasian Creed puts it this way: “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence ... The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinities, but one uncreated; and one infinite ... And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal ...”
Taking the three persons or personas together we get an image of one God in an imaginative, generative dance, moving into union. The tradition has a word for this: perichoresis. Peri means around. Choresis, as in choreography, means to dance. The divine love-
This is God’s nature, and it is expressed in God’s engagement with the world. God desires union with us precisely because God is God, precisely because God is Love.
Our artwork today by Sister Mary Grace Thul depicts trinitarian belief (if not the Trinity itself) by way of three “access points” into the divine love-
Evangelical Christianity (the red circle) has tended to emphasise an “I-
In view of the modern challenge to what has been called “the myth of God incarnate”, and also due to what may be regarded an evangelical “dumbing down” of the faith, many Christians (the blue circle) are seeking union with the “first persona”, the one from whom all things proceed. We are rediscovering the contemplative streams of our tradition. But when that entry point does not also lead us into the whole of God, into the whole love-
The third entry point seems to many most apt for modern times (the green circle). When we study the cosmos, contemplating its enormity, complexity and beauty, the sheer interdependence of things, we are engaging Holy Spirit, the one in whom we live and move and have our being. But when this entry point does not lead us into the whole of God, into the whole love-
The Good News is that our one God is threefold in power and love Lover, Beloved and Spirit of Love. The Good News today has to do with divine presence in the giving and receiving of love. It is the invitation to enter into the whole love-
As we share Love’s meal together today, let us pray for one another that we may continue to know salvation, that we may continue to come to our senses. After all, there is so much to receive, and there is so much to give. Amen.