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Trinity Sunday, Year C

The Mystery of God

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

You and I live in an addicted society. That can only mean that all of us are in some way or another affected by the disease. Most likely we ourselves are addicted in one way or another. When asked about addiction, most of us would think of alcohol or drugs, and it is true those are common, recognizable addictions. You might also if you really put your mind to it, come up with gambling, sex or shopping. There is a certain popular psychologist who lists one hundred and eighty three known addictions. He himself admits to fourteen. His personal list includes chocolate, television, sports and cleanliness. As you can imagine, with one hundred and eighty three possibilities there are some which you would not likely think about. I had not particularly thought of gossiping as an addiction, but there it was on his list along with others such as intimacy, humour and, yes, religion.

As humans we live with addiction. We are born hungry, and we continue to hunger in one way or another through our whole lives.

I was talking to a young person in our church Youth Group about his first job. He got it to save up for a Wii. It took him what he described as "months of pain" but he finally earned enough money and bought it. "It was a lot to go through," he reflected, "to get what I wanted." He liked it. But no sooner had he bought it than he began to think of what he would like next. He wondered if his whole life would be like that. Wanting something and saving for it and never being satisfied.

I didn't want to disillusion him, but isn't that how we spend our lives? Feeling hunger that will not go away and trying to satisfy it?

When I reflect on that, I cannot help but think that it has something to do with our basic relationship with God. For it seems that our deepest hunger can only be satisfied through a life long journey which helps to unravel the mystery which is at the heart of the Christian faith, the mystery which is at the heart of God.

Most of us seem never to come to terms with our need to satisfy our Spiritual hunger. Even when things happen which seem to reflect God's presence in our lives, we are often unable to give God the credit. We are quick to blame God for the bad things that happen, but at the same time we fail to acknowledge when God is with us.

I have heard many colleagues bemoan the fact that they must preach on Trinity Sunday. If at all possible it is relegated to the Assistant Curate or an Associate. Their excuse is that they do not wish to preach about a doctrine. And if you do put it down to doctrine and deliver some theological treatise about the Trinity you will put people to sleep. The powerful thing about it is that Trinity Sunday celebrates the mystery of God. This day marks our movement from the Easter Season into the ordinary time of the Sundays after Pentecost. We try so hard to explain God. For centuries theologians have attempted to put that great mystery into words. The doctrine of the Trinity is not some great truth that God has put in stone for us to believe. In fact, there is no place in Scripture which talks about the Trinity. It is rather a metaphor developed over the centuries about how we experience God's presence. The concept of the Trinity allows us to explore who God is and how God works in our lives. It calls on us to turn to God to satisfy our hunger. In the midst of anguish and trouble we experience the God who walks with us. In the beauty of nature, we experience the One who created us with wisdom and care. When life gets too serious, we experience God joyfully dancing at the thought of creating the human race. When we are filled with guilt, regrets and anxieties, we experience a God who justifies us, not because we are worthy, but because we have claimed it and are significant to God.

In some ways that can only leave us still hungering. Can we ever be satisfied in our search and hunger for truth? What we need to discover during this season is that the hunger is the Spirit itself drawing us into the truth, guiding, teaching, interpreting so that we may come to a deeper understanding of God.

We can have confidence in God, our loving and caring creator. For we know the saving action of Jesus Christ. We know the guidance of the Spirit. We continue on our life long journey of discovery of the God in whose image we are created.

Today we celebrate that mystery which is at the heart of the Christian faith, by bringing three children into the family of Christ. There is Daria, an active participant in our Sunday School, there is Jacob, a young member of a family that has a history in this parish, and Destiny, whose family is new to this congregation. These three families have participated in Baptismal preparation over the past few weeks. They are prepared to make a commitment to the faith on behalf of their children. As these three children are baptized, as promises are made on their behalf, this whole congregation participates as we promise to uphold them in the faith. We all renew our baptismal covenant, remembering the promises that were made for us when we became members of the Church of God through baptism. As Daria, Jacob and Destiny take their rightful place among us, we look for the power of the Holy Spirit to become active in their young lives. We share in the joy of the God who created us, sustains us and redeems us. Amen.
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