God Loving, Loved, Love: Trinity Sunday 5/22/16
In my early twenties I wrote a poem asking where God is and wondering how God could be present in churches “where people worship with so little vitality-so very little giving of the self”, concluding: “One of us is in the wrong place; I can not find You there anymore.” I continued: “Do I find you in all that I experience in a moment, in all that I am and am not, in all that I need and feel? ….Are we related You and I? Do You love your Creation? Where are You?” (Pages 100-101 in The Flame Keeper and Other Poems, AmericaStarBooks, 2007). While I smile now at my fervently seeking younger self and remember the unsettling ingredients making up that turning point in my life, I give myself credit for at least asking some good questions of and about the God I loved then and love now. I am respectful of all who seek to know our loving God. Jesus did his best to share his beloved Parent with us and to let us know Who God is and how we can experience God. Indeed we struggle to put words on the vast mystery of God but we know God is so much more than anything we know and yet with us and within us. We see God in Jesus’ life on earth, in all he did and said and was. We see Love in action. And we see God in all of creation. In the darkness of the night we feel the Spirit of God with us, bathing us in light and hope. We do know the Three-in One God, the One in Three God, though the words we learn to describe God are so inadequate. More than simply reciting stale doctrine we recognize the sense of the triune God in our hearts, as a formulation of the experiences of God by the faithful in the early church, where action for justice and compassion and not doctrine were the concerns of the faithful. The God of the Cosmos, the God of the beyond, the More we can never fully know or capture with words; the God who walked with us,incarnate in the human form of Jesus; and the God who remains within us-God transcendent and immanent as close as breath.
When Jesus was leaving this earth he felt their acute sense of loss and said to his followers: “….When the Spirit of truth comes, She will guide you into all truth….She will take what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that Abba God has belongs to me. This is why I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and will reveal it to you.”( John 16: 13-15,TIB)) This Spirit is Wisdom Sophia, that was with God from the beginning. Proverbs 8:22-31 describes the relationship of God and the Spirit: “Day after day I was there,with my joyful applause,always enjoying God’s company,delighted with the world of things and creatures,happily celebrating the human family” (vs. 31 the Message. ) In Proverbs 9: 1-6, “Lady Wisdom goes to town,stands in a prominent place and invites everyone within the sound of her voice…Are you confused about life….Come with me, oh come…leave your impoverished confusion and live !…” We see God here in dynamic and electrifying interaction. And in Romans 5:1-5 we see the peace and hope in God we have gained through Christ, even through our afflictions as “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (v. 5). Note the action words: the love of God is poured into our hearts. We thereby become a part of God in dynamic relation: to use words of St. Augustine: God loving (Creator, transcendent God in relation and in dynamic interaction), dancing as it were with God loved, God’s beloved Jesus; sends God Love into our hearts. The dance of God Father/Mother and God Son/Beloved, produces the love that is poured out and flowing within us through the Spirit. Augustine also saw this trinity as Mother, Child and Womb- the womb being the Holy Spirit in which we live and move and have our being.
How wonderful it is to grasp something of the mystery and complexity of God-three beings in one God. How wonderful for us to witness the love of Christ while he walked the earth, touching, healing, embracing and including the outcast, the poor, the stranger, women and girls as well as men and boys and all of creation in God’s justice and love. How blessed we are to know that Christ is with us still and that we are guided by God’s Holy Spirit, Wisdom Sophia. And how confident we can be in knowing that we have been commissioned to do as Jesus did, and that we CAN do it because of the Spirit of the living God within us.
I like the vision of God in Celtic Christianity and put before you the words on St. Patrick’s breastplate:
“I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.”
God, our ONE holy and living God: Father/Mother,Beloved Son and Holy Spirit; Mother, Child and Womb; Loving, Loved and Love be with us now as we seek to enact justice and to love you and love one another, without exception. AMEN.
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP
Co-Pastor the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community in Fort Myers, Florida