Trinity Sunday II
I looked over the sermon I wrote for last Trinity Sunday and I have to say I still agree with what I said. Jesus in his own way told us there is a trinity by telling us to baptize in the name of the father, son and holy spirit but he never directly said there is one God in three divine persons. People have argued and scratched there heads over this concept from the very beginnings of Christianity.
We say the Nicene Creed or the Apostles Creed at every service and we make these statements a part of our belief system as Episcopalians. Not all denominations do that. The Mormons do not. The Jehovah Witnesses do not and neither do the Unitarians or Friends. The Eastern Orthodox Church believes that the Son was born of the Father. This would imply that the Son had a beginning.
Before I get too thick into theology and all that let me just say that it is all a mystery. I don't understand how someone or something could be eternal. I don't understand how something could have always existed and never had a beginning.
What I do understand is relationships and Jesus spoke a lot about his relationship with the father. He loved the father and he told us to do the same. He told us the two greatest commandments were to love our God and to love those around us... our neighbor.
I am sure that the mortal side of Jesus struggled with his relationship with the father.
At Gethsemane Jesus ask the Father that the cup he was about to drink be taken away and his father refused. As Jesus hung there nailed on the cross he cried out my God why have you forsaken me.
Relationships are not easy. They require work and when those relationships have rough patches everyone feels the strain. However, as long as there is an underlying bond of love the relationships will survive those rough patches and they will grow.
In today's gospel Jesus tells us, his present day apostles, to go out and spread his message. We are given the task of making disciples of all nations. That is a big task. How do you even pretend to begin? You do it one person at a time. You share God's message not only through his word but also through your example.
People will see your Christianity in the way you live your life. I remember many years ago having discussions with a realator about a building we were buying. Near the end of our conversations she said to me, “you are a religious man aren't you.” I was taken aback because I didn't remember discussing religion with her. I said, “yes, but how did you know.” She said, “I can tell.”
By living the message you become the message.
When you start living your Christianity people can tell.
It's father's day and I have to say that we should never put too narrow of a definition on the word father. Yes, I am the biological father of two boys who are now men but I have assumed a parental role many times for young people. I really do believe that it takes a village to raise a child. Ministering to the children in our lives is part of living our Christianity.