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Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.

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Homily

Trinity Sunday, Year B
South Sydney Uniting Church
May 31, 2015

Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17


‘When I love the world’

Trinity is a way of thinking about God as the Dance of Life. Life in a barn dance, as a jocular preacher might say. Trinity is a way of thinking about God as creative, redemptive and sustaining Love. It is a pattern or habit of thinking and speaking, a poetics, which includes us, as friends of Jesus (“coheirs with Christ” as Paul says), in all manner of divine activity and purpose. God/Otua be with you ...

There are many ways to explore this doctrinal theme. I’ve deleted three times as much as I’ve retained for this morning. Here’s what I have to share ...

Trinity names a quality within each and every relationship.

As givers and receivers of love, we are also inspired (the word is apt) to love more and to keep on loving. When I love my niece, I am also inspired to love the world. In my uncle’s love for me, my love for others begins again, or is born again.

It’s worth staying with this simple example. Trinity is simply about a Dance of Life or Love that resists idolatry in other words, it is a way of saying that life and love, at the most real or divine level, free us from all objectifying, labeling, judging; all arrogance and fearful ignorance. Life and love, at the most real or divine level, draw us into wonderful creative, redemptive, sustaining patterns of holy threeness.

When I love the world (of light, trees, waterfalls or music), I am also inspired to love my work in this world.

When I love my friend, I am also inspired to care about her world, the particular world of her concerns.

In my cat’s regard for me (his trust in my care), my regard for good food, fresh water and clean air my regard for rest and play and creaturely affection begins again, or is born again.

Real love, real life, bears a trinitarian imprint never closing in on itself, never resolving or concluding or totalising the world, but inspiring reverence for all things in their infinite variety ... for the world to come.

Trinity names a quality within each and every relationship. As spiritual beings, made in God’s image, it’s also true that Trinity names a quality within each and every one.
In my sister’s love for me in the love of my sisters and brothers my inner capability-dependability-possibility a sense of myself as love’s work in progress begins again, or is born again.

Sometimes we express this in terms of a familiar narrative: Abba God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One to share in the struggle for freedom, to gather all the beloved of God in a Spirit of joy and peace. Abba God so loves the world, now as always, as to give the Only Begotten One … Or some such story. We need stories for this kind of thing. Embodied, cultural, moving, engaging, converting/reorienting stories.

And do we hear what this story teaches? That God is not a being who simply gives life and love certainly not a being far removed from the world. The story teaches that God is just as surely God in the person of Christ the One who receives life and love, and who responds in faith to love’s initiative. God is just as surely God in the One who responds to the call of love with courage and dignity, even in the face of persecution, even to the point of execution. “Here I am … send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

Sometimes we express this in familiar conceptual terms: the Incarnation lies at the heart of Christianity. Or, more philosophically, that “the sacred is the ‘subjectivity of objects’ the presentation in the contours of day-to-day things, of a meaning that sees ‘from I to I’” (R. Scruton). Or some such statement. We need statements like this because we are ever at risk of stating the faith otherwise suggesting that some other notion of power or glory lies at the heart of Christianity some kind of “power over” others, or some kind of force without regard for flesh, without reverence for bodies, for subjectivity, history, culture or matter.

The Triune God is a God in whom we find salvation, in whom we find ourselves made whole, made for relationship … Christ is the Only Begotten, the Child of God (because the faithfulness of Christ is our inspiration),but we are all children of God.The Apostle Paul says: “We are … heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing in Christ’s suffering and sharing in Christ’s glory.”

God is ... the Dance of Life. How might you complete the sentence: When I love my friend/daughter/uncle/mother ... I am inspired to ... Emeni/Amen.