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Sermon Sunday May 26, 2024 Trinity Sunday
(Memorial Day Weekend)
Lessons: Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit. Amen.
Let us remember that this weekend is Memorial Day
weekend. It is so much more than barbecues and having an
extra day off. Let us remember all who have given their
lives for us.
Once, when I was studying with some friends of mine, the
subject of the Trinity came up. Inevitably, as we were all a
bunch of preachers, we asked each other how to explain the
Trinity in a sermon.
One of my friends said that she had once heard of a preacher
who got up to preach one Sunday on the topic of the Trinity.
This preacher got up and the anticipation was great, because
this was a preacher who was famous for their oratory. This
person had a golden tongue, and people came from all over
to hear this preacher’s sermons. The preacher got to the

pulpit, and you could hear a pin drop, the anticipations was
so great! The preacher looked out at the congregation and
said the first line of the sermon: “ The Trinity is one of the
great mysteries of our faith.” The preacher then stepped out
of the pulpit and went and sat down. That was it! That was
the whole sermon. Punto! Period!
My friends and I all looked at each other after this story, and
I finally said, “Well, I wish I had the guts as a preacher to do
that!” We all agreed, changed the topic and went on with our
So, today is the day that I—-(anticipation) am NOT going to
do that, unfortunately for y’all! Because, of course, I am a
preacher, and I only get the chance to have a captive
audience once a week!
Still, the very basic thing that preacher said is really the
ultimate truth—the Trinity is a mystery that cannot really be
explained, nor fully understood by us mere humans. But one
of the characteristics of what makes us human is that we try
and find the answers to the unknown, to mysteries, instead
of just letting them be. And that is what can allow us to rise
to great heights and fall to great depths. We look at Adam
and Eve and see them trying to figure out the mystery of the

Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Or we see humans
rocketing to the moon and back. We’re trying to figure out
the mysteries, and we don’t know when to push on or when
to leave well enough alone.
Throughout the centuries great Theologians have attempted
to explain to us how there are three persons in one God—not
three gods, but one God—just one God. St. Patrick tried to
explain it by showing us a three-leaf-clover—three leaves
but one plant. That seems to cover all the bases, right? Well,
I found out recently that was really some kind of heresy. I
can’t remember the formal name for it, but it actually
reduces God is what it does. Others have told us it is like the
three stages of water which are solid, liquid, and gas
(although there’s a fourth form of water that has been
discovered I believe.) Or that the Trinity is like the roles
that a person may have—father, husband, and employee, for
example. Apparently, this reduces God to functions rather
than acting as three persons. That is what is called
modalism. Others have said that the Trinity is like an egg
with its shell, white and yolk, another heresy! I once tried to
explain that the Trinity is like a flower with its stem, flower,
and stamen. I guess I preached a heresy! What I am trying to

say is that there doesn’t seem to be a concrete way to
explain the Trinity that doesn’t fall into some kind of
heretical form…
Then I met my Theology professor! He talked about
perichoresis. Well, I’d never heard of that term before, s I
asked, “What is perichoresis?” He answered, “The Eternal
Dance.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He then went on to a
long explanation, as Theology professors, and I might add,
some priests are won to do. What it boiled down to is the
dance, the movement, the coming together and moving apart
and coming together of the three persons of the Trinity in an
internal dance of love and community that then expresses
itself, manifests itself, shows itself to us in this world as the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that teaches us how to
be the beloved community. It was the most beautiful
explanation I had ever heard, but it still didn’t explain the
how of it. That’s when it began to hit me that the Trinity
really is a mystery that the Church, that you, and that I have
to take on faith. And it is beautiful, powerful, majestic.
From that point of view the line or really circle of thinking
leads back to creation, to the creation of this world, to the
creation of us humans, to the creation of every living

creature, and to the creation of every inanimate thing. God
the Father created all with God the Son present and active
and cheering on, through the ruach, the breath, the wind of
the Holy Spirit. God really is present in all and everything!
(Sounds like I am getting perilously close to some other
heresies Rev. Kat—perhaps animism or the worship of
animals, plants, and inanimate objects, or Gnosticism in
which we have that special knowledge of God through Jesus
that makes us better than others as the spirit [small s] is
superior to the material.)
But we do not worship the animals, plants, and inanimate
objects. We worship God. We are not superior to others.
We tend to look at the world in a binary way, an either or
way, a black and white way, an us vs. them way, a flesh vs.
spirit way, a suffering/glory way. Even our computer
programs are binary!
The truth of the matter though is that we are all correlated,
everything together, all are one; that sounds rather woo-woo,
doesn’t it? But we are imbued, all creation is imbued, with
the breath of God at creation, and so we are all one.
We get a second helping of God’s ruach—breath, wind,
spirit, we might say, at our Baptism. We get the benefits of a

double whammy! That unites us in Jesus. But Why?
Because we separated ourselves from God, others and all
creation. This is great news! But how often have we heard
people say that they are a spiritual person? This implies that
there is opposition between body and soul or the flesh and
the spirit. When St. Paul says to us that if we live according
to the flesh we’ll die, like in our lesson today from Romans
8:12-17, and then says but if by the Spirit we put to death
the deeds of the body, we will live. Is this a condemnation of
our bodies? I don’t believe so. God could have created us as
spirits only, but he gave us material bodies. Flesh can mean
being in thrall to the things that lead us away from God. But
when the Spirit of God and our bodies are in synch, are
together as one, we strengthen our faith and what God wants
for us and what we want for us are the same thing in both
our soul and our material bodies.
Because the Spirit of God is in our spirits that we become
the children of God, the heirs of God that Paul speaks about
in today’s Epistle, and therefore we are one and one in
loving one another.
It is the Trinity that does this for us, as God the Father, sent
us God the Son, and the Holy Spirit connects us all. This is

the awesome mystery of God our Father Creator, Jesus the
Son our brother, God made Incarnate—God made flesh, and
the Holy Spirit, the breath of God in each of us as
individuals and as a Christian community.
So yes, the Trintiy is a mystery that we cannot fully explain,
and that we may never be able to explain. But we can see the
results of the Trinity in our lives—the care we have for one
another, the binding of our wounds, the joy in sharing
wonderful times together, the beauty of God’s creation, the
presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and the inspiration of the
Spirit in our lives. Then le us join in the eternal dance of the
Trinity in our lives as we live out the example of their
community here on this earth. Amen.