Trinity Sunday (June 12,2022)

Lectionary Texts

Following last week’s story of Pentecost and the disciple’s experience of the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the mystery of God as expressed in the image of the Holy Trinity: God as Creator (or “Father”) Son, and Holy Spirit, and celebrate the work of the Spirit among us.

The Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament images God’s creative force as Sophia, the Spirit of Wisdom. From the beginning she helped in Creation, working “beside God like a master worker,” both giving and receiving delight in Creation. In Proverbs 8 she cries out for us to live by her truth.

Psalm 8 proclaims God’s goodness, especially in having given human beings an honored place in Creation and in God’s care and attention. The Spirit communicates God’s truth to us.

Romans 5.1-5 says God establishes a loving relationship with us, represented in Christ, and pours love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that is in us.

In John 16.12-15 Jesus echoes Proverbs, speaking of God’s spirit of truth that gives life.

Preaching Thoughts

The Trinity
         The Trinity is not a doctrine, a logical proposition you can either “agree” or “disagree” with. It’s an image, an icon, a symbol. It’s not two men and a bird; it’s about our three-dimensional experience of God. It’s a picture of God as Lover, Beloved and the Love that Flows Between—or Lover, Love, and Loveliness. It’s sort of like E=mc2 in three dimensions. It’s an image of the whole world as a “thin place,” where the boundary is thin and porous between physical and spiritual, seen and unseen, finite and infinite.
         God is Love. God is Mother, Heavenly Lover, source of all Being: “Father.” God’s love is infinite and eternal. When God’s love exists as pure energy we call it “Spirit.” When God’s love is embodied, made finite and mortal, we call it “Christ,” God’s energy appearing as matter, Word made flesh. Jesus fully embodied the Christ, or embodied love, of God. He was not just Jesus of Nazareth, he was Jesus of Christ. He was Christ appearing as Jesus. We too are finite instances of the infinite love of God, just as Jesus was. God’s spirit, which we see in him, is in all of us.
         The Trinity reflects the way God is more than we think. It’s a way to keep our images of God slippery so we can’t have just one image. God is This and the Opposite of This and None of the above: God is infinite and also embodied; divine and also human; Father also Son, and also Mother.
       The Trinity is an image of God’s three-dimensionality. God is the Eternal Creator, Infinite Source, Reality Itself, Ground of Being, beyond all knowing or understanding. Yet God also comes to us in real, revealed, embodied form, in spoken Word, as God does in Jesus. And God also is within and among us, neither beyond us nor coming to us but arising from within us as Spirit: whenever we love—that’s God.
         The Trinity is an image of God as relationship. And it’s also an image of God as unity. Even though there seem to be three persons, they are One. And we’re part of that One. “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (Jn. 14.20). And it’s an image of God as energy. With God one plus one equals three, because you also count the “plus.” God is the “proceeding” of Son from Father, and Spirit from both of them. (There’s a big controversy about whether the Spirit proceeds “from the Father” or “from the father and the Son.” The very nature of the Trinity is that they can’t be separated or distinguished. The Spirit proceeds from their relationship.) The Trinity is not a static organizational chart but an electric field, a living process, a loving flow, a divine dance. The Greek word for it is perichoresis (from peri, which means “around,” and chorein, which means “to give way” or “to make room”). The Trinity is God’s dancing-to-make-room-for-the-other.

Call to Worship

1.
Leader: Loving Father, Strong Mother, Infinite Creator,
you breathe us into life; you call us to wakefulness.
All: Holy One, Holy Three, you call us to worship.
Beloved Son, you walk with us, you heal us, you die and rise with us.
All: Holy One, Holy Three, you call us to worship.
Holy Spirit, you move in us and sing with love in us.
All: Holy One, Holy Three, you call us to worship.
You dance the dance of love, and we enter your dance with love. Alleluia!


2.
Leader: Eternal Creator, you create us in the image of your love.
All: In awe and humility, we praise you.
Living Christ, you bear God’s love to us.
In gratitude and love, we thank you, and we follow you.
Holy Spirit, you breathe your love into our hearts.
By your grace, we bear your love to all people,
in the name of Christ, for the sake of the healing of the world. Alleluia!


3.
Leader: Creator God, Source and Mystery, beyond all knowing or understanding,
All: we praise you. We worship you. We glorify you.
Crucified and Risen Christ, Companion and savior, bearer of love and grace,
we thank you. We rejoice in you. We follow you
Holy Spirit; Divine Presence within; power of love, forgiveness and justice,
we open our hearts to you. We listen for you. We sing of you.
Holy Mystery, Three in one, we greet you.
Beloved God, Blessed Trinity, we give you ourselves. Re-create us in love. Amen.

4.
Leader: Holy One, you who create galaxies and have handmade the earth,
you who filled the seas drop by drop, and gave them their huge and tiny creatures,
All: we praise you with words and deeds.
Our very being is your praise.
You who keep faith forever, who bring justice for the abused,
you who set us free from all that oppresses us and open our eyes when we are blind,
we trust you, and rest all our hope in you.
You who watch over the widow and the orphan, the traveler and the alien,
you who faithfully pour love out to those who turn to you,
we look to you alone for our joy, for our life, for our very being.
Come, Holy One, and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!


5.
Leader: Creator God, we praise you!
All: Risen Christ, we greet you!
Holy Spirit, we are one body by your grace.
You alone are holy, and we worship you.
Glory be to you, O God of all Creation.
Thanks be to you, O Christ, for our salvation.
We open our hearts to you, Holy Spirit,
that you may come and live in us.
Eternal God, Three in One, we praise you.
We are in awe at the mystery of your being,
the glory of your presence.
you who died in love for us, and who raised Christ from death,
and who live in us with gentle power,
receive us now in our worship.
Alleluia! Eternal Triune God, bless us
and transform us by your grace. Alleluia!


6.
Leader: Creator God, we praise you!
People: Risen Christ, we greet you!
Holy Spirit, we are one body by your grace.
Great Three-in One, you are holy—
you are our wholeness—and we worship you.

Eternal God, Holy Trinity,
we thank you that you invite us into your love
and we become part of your embrace.
Mother-Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
infinitely giving and receiving love in blessed communion,
may your love flow perfectly in us and among us

Collect / Prayer of the Day

1.
Eternal God, Mother, Son and Holy Spirit, you are beyond our understanding, yet you come to us in the Word that blesses us. You live in us in the Spirit that renews us. In your grace you invite us into the dance of your love. Speak to us now, that our hearts may dance with yours, in the name of Christ and the grace of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

2.
Eternal God, Living Christ and Holy Spirit, Holy Three and Holy One, we praise you. We are in awe of your mystery, and grateful for your love, and we open our hearts to your grace, that we may be changed, so that we may bear your love into the world in the name of your Christ and the power of your Spirit. Amen.3.Beloved Mystery, Holy Three-In One, God of grace and beauty, You who are unknowable and yet revealed, infinite and yet within us: we strain to name you, to point to you, to understand your glory. But in tender love you reveal yourself in Christ, your Living Word, and in your Spirit in us. By your Spirit may we hear your Word now. Re-create us in your love, in the image of Christ, for the sake of the world. Amen.

4.
We come now to hear your Word, God. Still our minds. Center our hearts. Draw us into your Presence. Open an empty place in time this morning, where we may stop and listen to you. Create a clear space in the center of our hearts, where you may speak your Word to us. In stillness and openness, we await the Risen Christ, your Living Word, the hand of your blessing, the melody of your voice. We are listening. Amen.

5.
Eternal God, you are Mystery; you are Love; you are the Spirit of Life. We worship you in awe. We receive your Word with gratitude. We open our hearts to your life within us. Blessed God, Holy Trinity, surround us in your worship. Be the womb in which we receive life; be the companion who shows us how to live life; be the breath that gives us life. Speak to us, God, for your children are listening. Amen.

6.
Eternal God, spring of life in us and in all Creation, we open our hearts to your grace. As spring turns to summer and life burgeons around us, so may the sap of your love run in us, your love blossom in us. We listen for your living Word. Speak to us and awaken your Spirit in us. Amen.

7.
God, in the beginning was the Word, and all things were created through your Word. Create us anew through your Word. Speak to us in the voice of Christ, that we may hear. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we may be your Word, living and faithful, for the sake of the blessing of all Creation. Amen.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

1.
      We give our hearts to you, God, Creator and Ruler of the world, Heart of all things, Heavenly Mother and Father of us all, who calls us into being and surrounds us with grace.
      We give our hearts to you, Jesus, embodiment of love. In you the worlds, both visible and unseen, infinite and particular, mortal and divine, are one. Crucified and risen, you come to us in many ways; you call us by name; you touch us and transform us; you call us to follow you in love.
      Holy Spirit, we live by your grace: we breathe your love, and shine with your gifts. You unite us in the Body of Christ, and empower us to trust grace, to practice love and forgiveness, to seek justice, and to radiate hope as we join in the work of the healing of the world. Blessed God; Three In One; Mother, Son and Holy Spirit; Lover, Beloved and the Love that Flows Between, we give our hearts to you, that you may live in us. Amen.

2.
       We love and trust in God, Eternal Source and Creator of all that is and all that is to come, beyond our naming or understanding, the infinite many and yet the Holy One.
       We love and trust in God revealed in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, divine love made real among us. He taught and healed, cast out evil and performed miracles; he died and was raised to life again, and makes his home among us still, drawing us close to God.
       We love and trust in God, Holy Spirit, breath of life and energy of love within and among us, who gives us grace to forgive, to heal, and to work for justice for the sake of all living beings. In the One Spirit we are one Body, the Church: one in Christ, one in love, one in ministry to the world. In the name of the Holy Mystery, the Blessed Trinity, Mother, Son and Holy Spirit, we live as God’s praise, now and in eternal life. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

Eternal One, Holy Oneness,
we belong to you.
Loving Christ, Divine Companion,
listen for you.
Holy Spirit, Breath of God in us,
we open ourselves to your flow
into us and through us to the world.
Holy Three, Holy One,
you live in us, and we in you.
We offer ourselves in love.

Eucharistic Prayer

[The body of the prayer may be read responsively or by the presiding leader(s) alone.]

1.
God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

Eternal and Infinite One,
you are beyond all things, greater than all time and space;
you are the Loving Mystery that brings all things into being,
earth and stars, family and song, beauty and grace.
You create us as the image of your love, and claim us as your Beloved.

You defeat the powers of injustice and set us free from all that oppresses,
and feed us so we have life, and have it abundantly.
You invite us to your table to celebrate, to feast, and to share.
Therefore as one voice with all Creation we sing your praise.

     (Sanctus)

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ, your Beloved,
your Word made flesh, your grace embodied,
in whom your Love flowed, and in whom we might love you.
By your presence in him he taught and healed,;
he fed and guided your people.

He was opposed by human powers, and crucified,
but being the embodiment of your infinite love,
the grave could not hold him.
You raised him from the dead; and we celebrate his life among us

     (The Blessing and Covenant) *
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

     (Memorial Acclamation)

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Pour out your Spirit on us,
that you may live and breathe in us,
that we may be for the world the Body of Christ,
one in your Spirit, embodying your love
for the sake of the healing of the world.
     
(Amen.)

2.
God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

Blessed are you, O God, Eternal Source,
Infinite Fountain of Life, whose Word creates all things.
Your Spirit of wisdom, Spirit of love and truth,
has set her table; she calls out to us.
Though you are unsearchable,
you invite us to this meal where we may know you.
Therefore with all Creation we sing as one voice:
[Sanctus]

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He called you Father, embodied your Word and lived by your Spirit.
He was killed by the forces of evil and injustice,
but in the power of love and grace you raised him from the dead.
He revealed you as Holy Communion, the sharing of life,
and who taught us to share life, so that we might be one with you.

[… The Blessing and Covenant …] *

Christ is one with our human life,
so that we may be one with your divine life.
Dying, Christ destroys our death.
Rising, Christ restores our life.
Christ shall come again in glory.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gift of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the Body and blood of Christ.
that we may be the Body of Christ,
one with you, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.
May all of life be Holy Communion for us:
the sharing of love in community,
in your life and grace, Eternal God, Blessed Trinity,
Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit.
God of all Creation,
may your Word be made flesh
by all your holy Church
in the love of Christ
and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

____________
* The Blessing and Covenant
[I usually don’t print the words. I want people to be looking at the bread, not their bulletins.]

On the night in which he gave himself for us
Jesus took bread, blessed it,. broke it, and gave it to his disciples,saying,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup,
blessed it with thanks and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of this, all of you. This is my blood,
poured out for you and for many, in a new Covenant,
which is the forgiveness of sin.”
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection, until he comes again.

Prayer after Communion

1.
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. You have filled us with your Spirit, given us gifts, and kindled within us the fire of your Word, burning in us with the passion to share your love with all the world. Send us in the power of your Spirit to give, to serve, to love, and to rejoice in the name and in the company of Christ. Amen.

2.
Gracious God, you who are Three In One, you who are the very sharing of life, you have included us in your sharing. Send us into the world to share life in your Spirit, in the company of Christ, according to your loving will. Amen.

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view, and hear an audio clip, on the Music page)

God Beyond, Within, Among (Tune: For the Beauty of the Earth)

Holy God, great Trinity, source of all things good and true,
Gracious, Blessed Mystery, now we come to worship you.
God beyond, within, among: hear us sing our thankful song.

God, Creator, Womb of Life, whose eternal love and power
gather Earth and bring forth light, re-create us in this hour.
God beyond, within, among: hear us sing our thankful song.

Christ, our, brother, meet us here; touch our wounded hearts and heal.
Word of God, made close and clear, in your grace your truth reveal.
God beyond, within, among: hear us sing our thankful song.

Holy Spirit, Breath within, Wind of Heaven, gentle Dove,
make us holy, save from sin, fill our hearts with perfect love.
God beyond, within, among: hear us sing our thankful song.

Blessed, Holy Trinity, in your image and your power
we are your community; re-create us in this hour.
Holy God, we worship you! Take our lives and make them new.


God Eternal. Holy Trinity (Tune: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus)

God Eternal, Holy Trinity, Father-Mother, Spirit, Son,
Gracious Mystery, Loving Family, you have baptized us as one.
Sharing life at your kitchen table, feeding us with generous grace,
send us now into the world, one with all the human race.

Christ, our Brother, Guide and Teacher, Savior, Healer, Living Word:
we are baptized in your dying, in your rising, love out-poured.
You have fed us with the outcast, raised us to new life in you;
send us now to love our neighbors, with your Presence in all we do.

Holy Spirit, Bright Companion, Breath of Life that lives in us,
we are baptized in your power, grace to share your love and peace.
Send us now as your living Body, radiant with your infinite grace.
Lead us, guide us, bless and sustain us. May our living be your praise!


God of Creation, Birthing us Daily (Tune: Morning Has Broken)

God of Creation, birthing us daily,
granting salvation, making things new,
thanks for your blessing gladly we give you,
freely confessing our love for you.

Healing, forgiving, Jesus you touch us.
Bless all our living; grant us delight.
Jesus our brother, help us live gently,
love one another, trust in God’s light.

Grant us our living, great Holy Spirit,
faithfully giving hearts made of praise:
baptized in glory, servants of Jesus,
living your story all of our days.

God our Creator, You Gather Us Here (Tune: Be Thou My Vision)

God our Creator, you gather us here,
you who release us from bondage and fear,
you who make all things, and make all things new,
gladly we sing our thanksgiving to you.

Light of the world, Christ, you healed the blind,
freed us from chains of oppression that bind,
died with our dying! Our life is in you:

Spirit, unite us, and make our hearts new.
Help us by grace to live lives that are true,
touch with your healing and see with your sight,
live in your pure love and shine with your light.

(Communion verse:)
Christ, by your Body and Blood, present here,
make of one Body your people so dear,
taken, blessed, broken and given, all free,
so all may have life, and abundantly.


Holy Mystery (Tune Of the Father’s Love Begotten)

Holy Mystery, we worship you, Holy Three in One,
God beyond our understanding, Mother, Spirit and the Son,
Holy Love, Beloved, and the flowing Love between,
never ending or begun.

God, our infinite Creator, Source of all and ending too,
Holy Lover eternal, all around and in and through,
Love that flows in us, and in whom we all are one:
we find ourselves in you.

Infinite, eternal Love unseen, Love made flesh on earth,
Love that burns within our hearts, in whom all have infinite worth,
Mother, Son and Holy Spirit: we worship y0u in awe,
and receive new birth. Amen.


O Holy Trinity (Tune: Finlandia)

O Holy One, O Mystery beyond us,
We praise you, Lord, O Grace without a name.
Creator of the universe within you,
Source of our life, Thou Infinite Divine,
Unseen, unknown, we cannot frame or bind you,
Only our wonder and our praise proclaim.

O Loving One, O Love who made the heavens,
You choose to come among us as our own,
The Living Word, in flesh revealed, Companion,
Stranger and Friend, whose suff’ring is your throne.
Eternal One who humbly dies among us,
Your tender mystery in love is known.

O Living One, O Grace who lives in our life,
We can’t contain you, but we can adore.
Spirit of Love beyond, beside, within us,
Into our hearts your healing presence pour.
Many and One, O Mystery, Christ and Spirit,
We sing, we live your praise forevermore.