Sunday, May 26, 2013

Explaining God on the Feast of the Trinity

Robert Capon says that when human beings try to describe God we are like a bunch of oysters trying to describe a ballerina. We simply do not have the equipment to understand something so utterly beyond us, but that has never stopped us from trying. 

So, I tried an experiment as I prepared for my sermon on the Feast of the Holy Trinity - I asked my friends on Facebook if they could share with me some ways they have experienced God this past week.  Perhaps the most faithful sermon on the Trinity is one that sniffs around the edges of the mystery, hunting for something closer to an experience than an understanding. I find these responses to be very powerful:

Jane: Viewing a sunset from the outer banks of NC with all my kids and grands

Michael: Finding someone's cash back at a self check out lane and turning it in to customer service.

Michael: Seeing an old man's face light up when I accepted the flowers he offered me.

Charlie: I have several friends who are going through such hard times lately. The way they keep going in the face of adversity inspires me. To me, that is God in action.

Jory: When I look back at my life's path and see how things really did work out for the better despite the twits and turns.

Charlie: A really trying event about six years ago really shook me up and affected me for a long time. I'm finally starting to realize that it might very well have been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Becky: Learning that the great grand baby of some dear friends is cancer-free!! She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 months, has been at Johns Hopkins since then, and her bone marrow test from this week shows no evidence of disease! She is home now, thanks be to God!

Lynne: Seeing both of my sons alive and well after both of them went through life threatening events within the last year.

Mary Beth:  Knowing that God is always with me as I am now in chronic pain; and able to seeGod in others along my way in this journey. Experiencing the generous love in others, and the Grace to keep getting up each morning. Simple graces, more simple as I am blessed to age and see them that way. 

Jason: Singing hymns for two plus hours, was a vocalization of the Spirit, the mountains were definitely the work of God, and the offering being over 1000 bucks for that church that burned down, that none of us had ever been to was the body of Christ at work.

Felipe: We are in Armstrong Woods...just like being in a natural cathedral framed in ancient redwoods. They are so inspiring!

Lee: Working with a team of committed people as we prepare a CREDO conference for the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. It was inspiring to see how it all came together.

Fletcher: In the joyful faces of the young bride and groom who were just married here an hour ago; in the majestic sounds of pipe organ and bagpipes; in the humid warmth of a springtime afternoon in the South...

Darin: In simple encouraging loving words from friends.

Kristin: Laughter

Kathie: God has been guiding my husband and I through some difficult times lately and always provides for us. His grace and mercy surround us. Opening ourselves up to the beauty of His grace has made us more understanding and forgiving of each other and of other people.

Sue: occasional, soft, gentle rain up in the Trinity Alps

Marcelo: Knowing God always love you and even though you don't understand why something happens now, it will all make perfect sense in the future.

Amy: On a pastoral visit, I was the one ministered to, in a very gentle and intentional way by my parishioner.

Butch: I will be leaving the middle east soon. 

Joe:  The promise of everlasting beauty and abundance. Even this morning, when I went to tend my garden, I marveled at the return of the hops plants in their very infancy ... I had thought the plant had died and not made it through winter. Surprise, Spring comes along and the leaves poked out of the dirt. How can I not see God in that? The return of plants, flowers, the changing of the seasons, the promise of perpetuity ...

Sarah: I wrote asking the owner of the Grand Hotel if I could get a discount on a room for 4th of July with my mom and nieces. He wrote back saying he wants us to be his.guests for the whole weekend something I could never afford!

Elizabeth: I'm experiencing God right now, as I re-enter my church life by attending a wedding a week after a breakup knowing that there are people holding me in prayer.

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