2020 June 07 - Rector's Letter

That God is Trinity, three in one, is a core belief of Christianity. It is life-giving and life-directing.
Of course, it is difficult: for it defies all conventional understanding of time and space and identity.
It defeats the mathematician within. Yet still we treasure in our hearts this understanding: both
for what it allows us to comprehend in God, but also for what it shows us of ourselves.

The Christian Church is firmly within the family of monotheistic faiths (with Judaism and Islam),
upholding one true God through whom all things have their being. At the same time, though,
Christianity appreciates what I will call a ‘severalness’ in God, that has us understand the breadth
of Divinity and that God is before us and within us in the dynamic of relationship; and that it is
through this lens and metaphor that we may draw near to the One who draws near to us.

Today, in my sermon I point to three realms in which the severalness of God might find
expression: as Dance; in Blessing; and through Prayer. Each of these is inherently relational.
There is a giving and a taking; a to-ing and a fro-ing; a loving, and a being-loved.

New Testament writers begin to express this wonderful severalness for us. They are rooted in the
God of Israel. They revere the Christly Jesus. And they are being opened into an awareness of the
Holy Spirit, who indwells the fledgling Church. Here, and here, and here, is God. There is no
other way of saying it.

What is more, the Father, Son and Spirit, seem to look to one another, in a gaze of mutual love
and light. For a modern treatment of this, do read the spell-binding modern novel, ‘The Shack’ by
William Paul Young; which I warmly commend to you, as an inspiring portrayal of the glory of
divine love and laughter.

‘Dance’ may be the very best of images for today. ‘Blessing’ expresses, too, the dynamic of God’s
holy outreach. ‘Prayer’ is that in which we are caught up, and can at the same time return
something of the same: another, third, movement of the Spirit.

That God exists in relationship, is the most wonderful message imaginable. For that
relationship, that Dance, extends to us in Blessing, and becomes our way in Prayer; as we, too,
find relationship with God and one another to be our own lives’ calling.
Trinity is not ‘simply’ a word about God. It is a word about you and me.

Revd Andrew Doye, Rector of Westbourne


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