The picture on the front of the pew sheet is Rubilev’s Icon of the Trinity. Some of you may remember my sharing with you the chance that Bruce and I got to see the original last year when we were in Russia. This is the photo I took in the museum. It is an icon that speaks to me deeply and reminds me of the welcome and opportunity to come to the table whenever I wish.
As we begin to explore the difficult concepts of just what the Trinity is, I am hoping that Zak will give us some insights as he leads us in Murrumbeenies.
The naming of the Trinity or the development of the thinking around and about the Trinity was first formulated among the early fathers of the church as they attempted to rationalise the relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine, or code, of the Trinity holds that God is one God in three Divine persons. The three persons are distinct, yet are one substance, essence or nature. This doctrine of the Trinity is not spelt out in the books of the New Testament however they do contain a number of Trinitarian formulas. We hear Jesus say in John (14:9) “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” And Jesus tells the disciples that he will send them a helper, so the concepts of the Trinity are there.
They are also in the Old Testament, as can be seen in our reading from Proverbs this morning. This is another creation story told from the perspective of wisdom, some would say the Holy Spirit, as a partner in the creation process.
As we read of the presence and grace of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in all parts of the world and therefore our lives I can’t help but reflect on the world I see before me. There are times when it is very hard to see the presence and grace of the Trinity. Yes, we can see the wonderful creation that has been given to us, and if you’ve seen any of the photos of Marg and Geoff Edwards you have no doubt of the wonder of creation, but yet we (and I know I am being very general here) have not cared for it as we should.
We are told to love our neighbour as ourselves and yet we see prejudice and injustice, divides between rich and poor, racism and lack of respect for the people that God has created in God’s image.
As we reflect on what the Trinity is and means for us today, we need to reflect on our actions, the actions of the wider community and world and the changes that we should be making. Jay Robinson