Trinity Sunday June 12, 2022 By Rev. Tom Cook
Recently, I was having automotive repairs done and there was no way I could leave the place so I put down these few lines of what I will call poetry.
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
By definition God’s the most
The most knowing, strong and loving too.
God will bring God’s best to you.
The Father, maker of all that is
Has given life its form and fizz.
The Son took flesh so we could see
In human form who sets us free
God’s total nature’s beyond our reach,
Spirit enters our hearts to love and teach.
My hat it has three corners
Three corners has my hat
If the hat has not three comers
Then it is not my hat.
So go the words to a little ditty that I learned somewhere back in the long ago history of my life. I have often used these words when talking about the Trinity on the Trinity Sunday.
We use the expression “wearing a hat” as talking about a role we have taken on or a truth we have decided to accept. We may say of a man; he wears many hats or has many personas. He is grandfather, father, brother, cousin, friend, neighbor, technician, counselor, gardener, husband, coworker and neighbor. And though we can identify these different roles we do not imagine that the person we are talking about is many different persons. This one is one person with several different ways that they relate in life. Even as we relate to life we also relate between the various roles we have. So it is with God, sharing and learning is done in relationship.
As a child I often talked to the trees. The world has always seemed to me to be beyond knowing completely, so, I guess I wanted to let God’s creation explain itself. They say that to young children everything is magic since they have no explanations for any of it, it is magic.
As we get older we learn things and the world seems a little tamer until someone asks a question like how did this all come to be. One philosopher’s guess, that I remember is that in the beginning all the atoms were traveling parallel to each other. Then one of the atoms wiggled and it started a chain reaction that eventually ended up bringing us and this whole scene into reality giving us the reality that we are now living in. That was some wiggle. No dancer, Fred Astaire or Ginger Rodgers ever wiggled like that. The Lord of the Dance is my choice.
I personally am more prone to the belief that whether there was a wiggle or a big bang, that there was a guiding hand. I have chosen to believe that that guiding hand was and is God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God it was who ”danced in the morning when the world was begun.” God gives life its form and fizz. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is the Genesis version. In the Gospel of John we read, ”In the beginning was the word(in the original Greek, logos or plan) All things were made through him.
Living in God’s garden should be so simple. Simply enjoy all of this magic that God has made.
There are flowers and trees and atoms and molecules. There are elements and compounds. There are wonders all around. Tastes and sights to serve our curiosity and give us the things we need and want. There are bits of reality too small to see with an electron microscope. There are stars and galaxies so large and spread over such vast space that we can only wonder about the God who made them We have chosen to know like Adam and Eve. We have eaten the forbidden fruit of knowledge only to discover that our knowledge in partial. It leaves us feeling exposed. We don’t know and we feel that we should. So, we hunger to know more and more. I want you to know that I don’t believe that all knowledge is of the same value. Some things are much fuller known than others. Water boils at 212degrees Fahrenheit at sea level.
This has been observed by billions of experimenters and their knowledge shared and compared. You can pretty much depend on that. But many of the questions we need to have answers to are not nearly so plain. We were told by our leader that Covid 19 was nothing to worry about that it would fade away. We began to treat our medical knowledge as if scientific observation were unimportant. That isn’t how I choose to treat medical know how. I want to know that the people I trust with my health have studied and learned their art. I know their knowledge isn’t perfect but there are degrees of knowing that are better. But let’s look at some more difficult questions.
Sometime after my 82nd birthday I decided that I would have to admit that I don’t know anything.
Partly knowing is to not know. Someone says something to us like, “I love you!” But what does that person believe about themself? Who is the ”I”, the person speaking and what does being a person mean to them? What does loving mean to that person? Who do they think “You” are. Do we know the answers to these questions or a hundred others that might be asked?
Well, what do we do? We choose to believe. We experience our reality and what we see of God’s garden and we think we can be like God and know, but we can’t. So looking at reality as carefully as we can, we share and compare, and then we choose to believe something or someone. I hope that you have made the same choice I have, that you have chosen to believe Jesus. And I know that what you believe about Jesus will be different to some degree from what I believe because you have had different experiences than I have, It will also be like what I believe because we have the common sources of the Bible and the church and God making God’s self known.
When we see Jesus, we see what the Father looks like and when we invite the Spirit into our lives we are choosing to let God teach us God’s ways. God wants to do that and is very patient. You’ve heard the expression: P.B.P.W.M.G.I.F.W.M.Y. Please, be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet. Jesus promised the disciples that God would send his Spirit to them and that is God’s promise to us as well. We come then to experience God in different ways.
We experience the One who shows us what God has done and made.
We experience God with us who showed us the depth of God’s love, living faithfully, sharing what he knew, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, even raising the dead, forgiving sinners and sharing the good news that God loves us unconditionally. He spoke to the Father on the cross about those who were crucifying him, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”
And God takes up residence in us, not waiting for us to become perfect but encouraging and teaching and loving us with the Spirit. So, yes, I do believe in the trinity. It is how I have experience God. It is the three-cornered hat that I have chosen to wear, it is what I have chosen to believe. I believe that it is the three-cornered hat that the Bible shows us and the church has lifted up for more than 2000 years. So when I look at all that God has made and remember that I am forgiven because of Jesus and sense that Holy Spirit revealing the wonders of God and bringing love and wisdom into my very being I have no trouble saying I believe in God who has shown God’s self through the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, One God, three personas. God chose to wear a three cornered hat. Amen.