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Vicar's Musings for Trinity Sunday

27 May, 2018

Blessings on this Feast Day of the Holy Trinity! The doctrine of the Trinity, some three hundred years in the making, as much as personalising God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is about a prayerful pointing towards the mystery of God, the otherness of God, the strangeness of God. It is not possible to construct any certainty around the Trinity, however clever our theology might be, that would be more about domestication than truth and faith. The point is rather an encouragement to live into this truth; to follow in the slip-stream of God; to stand in the lightning storm of the Trinity; to inhale the "ruach" the breath of Divinity. And the best way to do this is practically: to walk the talk; to prioritise relationships; to turn the other cheek and forgive those we are fighting with; to welcome the poor at our table; to love sacrificially. To love the Triune God we must also love our neighbour; and to do this we will often find ourselves off balance, de-centred, or at least centred beyond our selves and our selfish concerns. The Holy Trinity is surprise, or as Gerard Hughes suggests the "God of Surprises." What a waste of energy it is to anxiously guard against this Triune God; to work hard at keeping things pinned down and manageable. O that we could embrace more fully the divine dance of the Holy Trinity, the vibrancy of life beyond our selves, our immediate family, or even our church. John Donne, the seventeenth-century English poet and cleric, puts it like this:

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labour to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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