Rev Sue celebrated the Eucharist for Trinity Sunday at St Margaret’s church Prestwich, assisted by Bishop David. The preacher was our Reader Christine.
Christine’s sermon can we studied again here:
My children when they had homework to do and now my grandchildren who also have schoolwork to do often complain about doing it and I would say and do say it doesn’t matter how old we are we are all learning every day.
Children I know would normally start nursery at around 18 months to 2 years old, even younger in some circumstances. Once they are at nursery they will learn to play and interact with other children, they will learn to share, talk and listen. They then move on to Primary School and learn academic skills and learn to ask, “Why”. They become more inquisitive, more adventurous and are willing to share what they have learnt. They continue to learn and progress through High School, College, University or venture out into the world of work. Eventually they take on the responsibilities of being an adult.
God the Father sent his Son, Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit, to teach his children. He took a group of men and taught them to speak confidently, to have faith to believe in what they witnessed. He taught them to love one another, to have empathy with those who needed healing, those who were shunned by society, he taught them to share what they had with others and he taught them about equality. He taught them and us through his disciples, “if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4: 12).
Through his teachings and through the power of the Holy Spirit he ultimately taught his disciples to have the faith, strength, courage and determination to carry on his mission of spreading the Gospel and to drive his church out into the world.
A world that would not always welcome them.
Jesus’ appearances after his resurrection were mostly unannounced Jesus would simply just appear, but Jesus had asked Mary at the tomb to tell the disciples to wait for him in Galilee and his greeting in Corinthians ends with the confirmation of his authority and the union of the trinity. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13: 13)
In Matthew he reminds the Disciples that, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Before commissioning them to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28: 19)
Thinking about the Trinity is a difficult proposition and the more you try to untangle it the more perplexing it becomes. There have been many different ways people have tried to explain it, including me, from the 3 leaf clover (like this one) where there is one stem with 3 leaves to a more scientific example. Where we think of an ice cube, that becomes water and then steam – 3 processes from one resource and a new one I’ve read about recently about music, thinking about the ‘C’ chord which is made up of the 3 notes C, E and G and if one is missing the sound is not right.
The same applies to the Trinity you can’t have one missing it is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we proclaim in the Creed.
Jesus has told the disciples many times about the Father and the Holy Spirit. They were witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit working through Jesus and at his Baptism, they had confirmation from the Father when they heard the words, “This is my Son, the Beloved;with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” and Jesus himself had said that, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
The Disciples were being sent out into a changing world. A world in which the church was born, in the same way children venture out into a wider world to learn new experiences and in the same way we will all venture out into a changing world once after restrictions are lifted and some form of normality returns, whatever that will be. We will all need faith, strength, patience, courage and determination to face the changes that we will experience.
With this in mind I would like to read a mediation from Nick Fawcett’s book No Ordinary Man (book 2) because he has summed up not just what the disciples may felt from Matthew’s perspective, but what I think we may feel when we return to our world.
“We had come, just as he’d told us to – up on to the mountains of Galilee where we’d walked so often, where we’d sat at the Master’s feet,
where we’d watched as he taught the crowds and marvelled as he fed the multitude – and suddenly it was just like old times,
for he was there once more, standing by our side, that old familiar smile, that warm, comforting presence, Jesus, alive and well.
Can you imagine what it felt like, after the shock, the horror, the disbelief at his death?
We’d been crushed, distraught, everything we’d lived and worked for turned to ashes, and there had seemed no point to anything, no future, no hope, nothing to lift the pall of misery that overwhelmed us.
Do you wonder we fell down and worshipped him!
It was as though we had awoken from some dreadful dream to find the sun burning bright, and we were terrified of closing our eyes even for a moment in case darkness should return and the nightmare begin again.
I know it was foolish, but we actually hoped nothing had changed, that we could pick up where we’d left off, and follow once more in the Master’s footsteps.
But, of course, we couldn’t, for it had changed – not just him, but us, and everything.
They’d laid him in a tomb, and he’d emerged victorious.
They’d tried to destroy him, but he could not be defeated.
And it was a message the whole world needed to hear – the victory of love, his triumph over evil, good news not just for us but for all.
Yes, the work would continue, just as we’d hoped,
only it needed us to carry it forward,
our willingness to speak,
our faith to respond,
our courage to go out and make disciples of all nations,
so that they too might know the risen Christ and respond in turn.
It could no longer simply be us and him, much though we might have wished it – there was work to be done, a message to share, a kingdom to build, and he needed our help to build it.
We’d come and met him, just as he had told us to – now it was time to go!”
The Disciples did just that they stepped out into an ever-changing world. A world that was introduced to the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A world we are in, but a world that will be changed when we step out, back into society, into a church that has changed for our time.
However, through our services online, by phone or when we finally meet again inside church buildings to worship the risen Christ, he will continue to make his presence felt in and through the Eucharist, our services, fellowship and our prayers.
As children of God let us be confident in our faith, let us like the disciples be willing to share Christ’s message and help him to build his kingdom on earth, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reader @ St. Margaret’s Church, Holyrood
& St. George’s Church, Simister.
No ordinary Man (book 2 page. 253) Nick Fawcett
The books of the New Testament-Ian Boxall page 143/144