Trinity Sunday, June 11th, 2017 by the Rev. Dr. David Cobb

Trinity Sunday, Year A:  Genesis 1-2:3;  Matthew 28:16-20

There is a point of connection between creation and the resurrection-  we arrive at both after the key moment.  You will remember that none of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection mention anything before the Tomb is found empty-  even Matthew who brings in an earthquake along with the necessary angel- someone has to explain to us what we could not have imagined- even Matthew is silent on the moment when death lost its grip – and life surged in Jesus once more.

So too, when Genesis begins “in the beginning”-  there is already within God’s own being a full and abundant intention – there is the Word- that will reflect and cause that intention to take shape- and the Holy Spirit is already the over-flowing giver of life.  Life is surging before Genesis- or John’s Gospel for that matter- rings out  “In the beginning..”   God’s eternity reaches farther back than even scripture can see.

We find the Empty Tomb- and more wonderfully, we encounter the Risen Lord on the mountain- and he accepts our doubt and our worship.

We stand -with the earth beneath us- with the sky above us- the changing patterns of day and night, the air and the water teeming with life- it all reflects a generosity and a delight that will lead us to worship- to stand in awe- and even to doubt- how could it be- what might possibly hold together something as complex as a single atom- or as expansive as a galaxy.  It is a world so wondrous- that is almost impossible to conceive of the mind that gives rise to all of this.

There we encounter God, not in the gaps of our understanding- an admittedly shifting and shrinking point-  but we encounter God in the movement beyond- and prior – to our awareness.  And in an infinite grace- the God whose life is complete within the eternal joy of the Trinity- reaches out-  delighted that there be something- that there be all of this- that is not God- so that as there is mutual love and recognition within the Trinity- that love and recognition broadens immeasurably to include what is not God.

In you infinite love you made us for yourself–  that simple line reflects the full glory of the Trinity- and our relationship to God- and to this world. God’s love didn’t begin when we appeared-  what we learn of God in creation, through the words of prophets and poets- what we see in Jesus Christ- is that there is in God a love that precedes everything- begotten of the Father before all worlds– the creed will remind us in a few moments- and emerging from their eternal delight- the Holy Spirit-  There is a fullness in God’s love that  was all that was-  and then God’s love reaches out- and this creation slowly emerges- day by day- age after age- until humankind stands forth- created in the divine image- and summoned to respond.

In your infinite love – that love reaches from eternity-  which will always be beyond or before our understanding- even as it reaches more deeply into our lives and into this world than seems possible.   You made us–  the creeds expand this out-the Father- the maker of all that is seen and unseen-the eternal Son- through whom all things were made-and the Holy Spirit- the Lord and Giver of life.

Science allows us to understand how  matter and space, energy and movement – and finally life and consciousness unfold.  We can study and experiment and trace the realities of breath and blood flow- of genetic and cultural inheritance-but that first movement the unnecessary act of letting anything,  and then everything, and then each of us,  be.,  that is God’s  utter graciousness.  In your infinite love, you made us for yourself.  

There is a purpose and direction that is inherent in creation and in each of us.  Genesis captures it in the final day- when creation is in its fullness- we could probably even imagine it as an enduring June afternoon-  green and verdant, with no sign of decay or distress-  and an unbroken contentment embraces all-

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good-  that recognition- and then the sabbath rest that follows- that is where creation was headed.

And that is where we are headed- through the work that continues past our fall and our misuse of creation, despite our sin and even through our death-  God’s connection to this creation was perfected when the eternal Son was made man- when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us – taking human flesh in its frail beauty from the flesh of the Virgin Mary.  There is an infinite distance between creation and our creator- and for all the diverse and distinct types of creatures-  there is all of this creation- and then there is God- a distinction far greater than any within this creation.  In the incarnation-  God creates a unity between God’s own life and our life-

All authority- Jesus says- has been given to me- in heaven and on earth-  and it is in him that those two realms find their meeting point- and it is in our relationship to him- our obedience to what he teaches – that we move from what we are-  to what God intends us to be.  We are born into this world- not the perfect rest and beauty of God’s creation- but the reality that has followed and that emerges from our continual resistance to God and from our frailty and mortality.  We are born again- when, in obedience to Christ- we are baptized-  and join him in the new creation that begins with him and is continued in each disciple.  In your infinite love you made us for yourself.  – there is a good deal of the Trinitarian theology and even more of what it means to be a disciple in these few words – in your infinite love you made us for yourself.

Within this good creation- and in spite of the sorrows- and even terrors it can hold- there is a source and a purpose-  our lives are meant to be grounded in clear and deepening understanding of what God’s self-revelation and we are to grow up into mature, intentional obedience to Jesus.  And we are to make disciples-  what we discover here- the grace that revives us and the demands that give us direction and the promise that is our hope-  that is not for us – as if it were some little thing we carry- but it is given to us to flow through us- go – teach- baptize.  Those are commandments- not suggestions.    That sends the church out- to make common cause where it can with all that works for human flourishing- but only as  we continue to work on discipleship-  working to build a community that reflects the worth and value of every person and working for the common good- sharing that  task with any person of good will-  but called to it by God and seeing it lead towards God’s future.  Whatever we do, begins here, where we worship amidst doubt, and where Christ sends us out- and leads us onward.

It matters what we believe- and how we understand God- before all else the baptismal creed teaches us to confess the faith- and to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread and in the prayers.  – we are under orders- to live and teach what we have learned in Jesus.  We share in the sacraments- by which the Holy Spirit takes this worlds stuff- water, bread, wine, oil-  and infuses them with the perfection of God’s new  creation and the joy of the world to come-  Teach and Baptize Jesus says-

And I am with you until the end of the ages.  We missed the beginning- we always arrive with the creation moving forward- even as we always find the Tomb empty-  but we will not miss the end- that great sabbath- when God’s whole creation will be good- very Good. For that we were created, for that Christ redeemed us- and to that great purpose, the Holy Spirit works within us.   In your infinite love you made us for yourself-   May we know the Father -the source of all that is – and Christ, the Word through whom all things were made- and the Holy Spirit- the Lord and giver of life-  and in that knowledge- may we know this world’s beauty, and our own true nature- and our great hope- that he is – and will be with us, to the ages of ages.