Recently in our services we have been looking at understanding words and then two weeks ago we were given the visual at The Ascension of Jesus. This was followed last week as Edward led us in our Pentecost Reflections; Different voices speaking in different languages as tongues of fire filled the room. Once again today we need the audio and the video.
Today churches will be celebrating God as Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Who has the words or the images that can completely describe to us God in three forms? Over the years we have heard the egg analogy; shell, albumin and yolk, three separate identifiable parts and all integral to the egg. We have heard the water analogy; liquid, ice and steam, three separate identifiable forms and all integral to water. Our Bibles are a treasure trove of literary forms which help us to understand and know God more fully. There is poetry and proverb, legal document, dramatic narrative and personal letter. There are hymns and sermons, dreams and visions, as well as figures of speech and word pictures that highlight what is being said. The audio visual assistance we need. Our Psalm is indeed a song of praise filled with imagery in relation to creation. From the heavens; the moon and the stars, to the creation of life; beasts of the fields, birds of the air and fish of the sea to our place in this wonderful creation all of life is included as a means of glorifying the Creator God.
There are different ways into the nature of God, they all lead us to the same God, they all reveal what God is like, and they are all absolutely right. On this Sunday, this Trinity Sunday, we are reminded of the many ways of God. Between the Psalm and the Gospel readings once again I am convinced of God’s word in all of this. His speaking directly into our situation of today. Jesus throughout his time on earth made reference to creation in all its forms. ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ The limitless commitment of God to all his children surely is at its most beautiful when humanity comes together as one and the flip side, the most horrible aspect of humanity, is evident when race and skin colour, not only mark our physical appearance a major factor, but debase who a person is and the value of their life becomes something less. Here in our community, across our nation and indeed across our world people are asking others, ‘How can I help you?’ The question of creed or colour, the debates surrounding dogma and creeds, the life of faith or not, all of this put one side. Jesus could have given us a lengthy lecture on who my neighbour is. He could have spoken for hours on how to treat someone in need. He simply told the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus the master storyteller connecting with his listeners. We all know the opposing side of the Good Samaritan story at this time in our lives as we witness each day human interactions that are beautiful and others that are ugly and shameful.
Jesus is fully acquainted with human life in its many experiences. He could hold meaningful conversation with farmer and fishermen, with builders and merchants alike. His stories portray the lives of men, women, and children, the poor and rich, the outcast and the exalted. He knew about weddings and happy occasions as well as funerals and sickness. He knew directly about racial tensions. Remember when people said, ‘Did anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Remember people questioned why he spoke with a Samaritan woman at the well, age old racial and religious tensions bubbling away. How many plans that were made in January this year are still possibilities now in June? There are times when we need to stop and rethink and even times when we just need to start all over again. God loves to help us make a fresh start. The presence and teaching of Jesus was something new and signalled the passing of the old. Jesus did not come to reform an old and worn out system but to fulfil and complete it and then introduce something radically new. God has a new thing He wants to do. God wants us to put some “new wine” into the “old wineskins” of Church today. We must be willing to make the changes and stretch with the new ideas and it is possible the shape of the church may be something we do not fully see as yet. This new church not so much a destination as a channel through which people can find relationship with their Lord. A life-long, life-changing relationship with the Divine Christ.