A Sermon for Trinity Sunday
A sermon preached on Trinity Sunday 2022 – our first Sunday back in our Parish Hall :
Hope does not disappoint us….
How good it is to be with all of you here today, in our own space!!
For over four months we have been unable to meet for worship on our property, and it is a great joy to be here together, finally!
And this morning, after our eucharist, we will feast together – with our first post-pandemic potluck – with some of that wonderful Good Shepherd cooking that we have been missing for SOOO long!!
We have been through a lot in the past few months with the damage to our buildings and the uncertainty that brings.
We have been through a lot as a parish, but we can rejoice, because God is with us. We are living out the truth that the church is NOT the buildings. We have learned through our struggles that the church, the body of Christ, is us! The people gathered here today and those who could not be with us. As much as we love our beautiful Nave, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is alive and well no matter where we gather!
As the apostle Paul wrote:
Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Paul tells us that this hope comes out of suffering, and endurance, and character forged in that suffering through our endurance.
The kind of hope that Paul is talking about is the hope that lives in our hearts, no matter what the outer circumstances. This hope IS the communion with God - the indwelling love of God in our very hearts.
So hope does not disappoint us – and we do not lose hope, we cannot lose hope, because we can NEVER fall out of God’s love…………
From the beginning, we have the dance of relation between God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps a dance is the best way to understand the mystery of God in three persons. For God is, in essence, a relationship of persons, constantly in motion.
What does it mean for us that we are made in the image of a Triune God?
It means that we are created for community.
It means that we are not meant to be alone.
The mystery that we call the Trinity calls us into a life of love, a life of embracing diversity, seeking to include all people.
We can agree to disagree on some things, and still remain in relationship.
The Trinity calls each one of us to become our own unique selves, while being in communion with others.
How do we live this out? One way to do this is to accept and welcome people’s individual uniqueness and gifts. We can welcome people into our community who are very different from us, and not expect them to change everything in order to fit in with us. I remember a Rector in Atlanta may years ago who welcomed me in as a layperson. He said to the group of new people that all of our gifts were welcome, and that our being there would bring change to the church.
The Trinity calls us to a radical inclusiveness. We are called to care about our community and the world around us. We are called to join the eternal divine round dance of life and love.
Yes, we have had MANY challenges since March of 2020. By the grace of God, our suffering has brought forth endurance. And that endurance has brought forth a deeper, stronger, character. And the hope which was forged out of this struggle can NEVER be taken away, for God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
And so today we begin a new chapter in our life as The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. We are back home!! We will worship and minister out of this Parish Hall for as long as we need to. We continue with our strategic planning process. And we seek to discern what new thing God is calling us to.
The Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd is alive and well!!
Amen. Thanks be to God.