The Trinity

Download a pdf of this sermon suitable for printing.

Revd Ian Chaplin
Trinity Sunday, 26 May 2013

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Notes from the Sermon, giving the essence of what Ian spoke about.

Trinity: it is deeply mysterious. The Early Church had a number of councils about the relationship between the persons of the Trinity, like that of Nicaea. The Council of Nicaea, convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325, attempted to gain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. It was highly controversial; some bishops were ambushed and killed.

In the twentieth century and since, the church has thought about the Trinity in terms of process: what the Trinity does. This is sometimes summed up in the Greek word perichoresis, alternatively called 'circumincession' (Latin). Perichoresis comes from two Greek words, peri, which means 'around' and chorea, which means 'dance.'

Now, when you dance with someone, like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, you should hold them lightly. Hold ideas about God lightly! Don't hold too hard or else you stumble! Hold the "doctrine" lightly and it becomes a beautiful thing:

Process is like a kiss
a kiss goes out to creation
or it forms creation.

Trinity reflects our experience of God.

—God the Father; is beyond our grasp of reality; beyond time and space
God is the mystery beyond time and space.

—(In) God the Son.
   God made flesh (in the person next to us.)

God the Spirit;
   God is love;
      love & love alone gives us meaning and purpose.

The concept of Trinity can be used as a tool for our worship/spirituality:

   —dance with it lightly
      —imagine deeply.

St Philip's Anglican Church,
cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602.