From Pastor's Desk

THE TRIUNE GOD – IN A RELATIONSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND HOSPITALITY

The Sunday after Pentecost (May 19, 2024) is celebrated as Trinity Sunday. Trinity is a hard concept to wrap your head around but one that is central to the Christian faith. Trinity is not about three gods, but One God personified in three persons. God the creator is depicted as the Father who sends the Son to redeem the world and the Son leaves the Spirit to complete what has been started by the Son. The three persons are in perfect unity. There is no hierarchy in that relationship just absolute unity, community, and fellowship.

Perichoresis is a Greek term, which refers to the relationship of the three persons of the Triune God. Peri, which refers to the circumference or the periphery and Choresis, refers to the choreography or dance or movement between the three persons of the Triune God. One of them holds the center stage at some point while the other two are in the periphery. No one holds the center stage all the time, which means that there is absolute fluidity to their roles. It is easy to get caught up with trying to explain Trinity as some have tried to do. For example, Trinity is simplified or explained by the three parts of the clover leaf. It is easy to understand but oversimplifies the complex and mysterious aspect of Trinity. Another way we have tried to explain is by telling the three forms of water – ice, water, and steam. Again, a great way to explain but one that does not live into the mystery of the concept. It is better for us to live into the mystery of the Trinity than to explain it away. My favorite scholar and teacher, Henri Nouwen calls Christians to meditate looking at the icon of the early church on Trinity.


The famous painting by the Russian artist, Andrei Rublev, offers a glimpse at Trinity. The three figures are seated at a table with a cup in the middle and surrounded by trees and mountain in the background. Their place around the table reminds us that no one holds center stage all the time. The person seated on the left is depicted as God, the Father with the translucent blue garment signifying the role of the creator. Both figures, one in the middle and the one on the right is looking tenderly at the Father. The one in the center is obviously Jesus and the one on the right is the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that some scholars have suggested that both figures point to the cup in the middle. In Holy Communion that we do on Sunday, it is Jesus who institutes with the Holy Spirit being fully present in the event of the Breaking of the Bread. We can talk a lot more about this icon but we can keep this for another time.

Here are a few things to take away as we meditate on the theme of Trinity and as we journey thru the month of June. First, it is about the relationship between the three persons of the Triune God. The church is prompted to think about the relationship between the three persons of the Triune God, our relationship to this holy God, who came to be with us in three persons and our relationship with each other. From the beginning of time, we were created for relationship with God, with each other and with the whole of creation. This is the primary reasons that we are to cherish the relationship we have with each other and, be good stewards of God’s creation.

Secondly, Trinity reminds us that we are called to be in community. The idea of community in the Christian faith is to walk alongside with others, encourage them in their low moments and help each other to fully live out the purpose for which God has made us. Finally, Trinity reminds us that we are to extend Christian hospitality. This hospitality must be radical in nature. It will mean extending hospitality to people who will look, talk, and behave different from us. This was the experience of the disciples when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. In Acts, Phillip meets an Ethiopian ruler, shares the Word with him and even baptizes him after he receives the good news. In another instance, Peter will visit the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, who becomes the first Gentile convert to the Christian faith and all happens because Peter was willing to extend this radical hospitality. This story continues and must continue even as we meditate on the role of Trinity in the life of our church.

Rev. Kamalesh Stephen

May 1, 2024

From Pastor's Desk

MOTHERING GOD 

All through the month of April, we celebrated the presence of the Risen Christ among us. Jesus comes thru closed doors, appears to his disciples, and offers them words of comfort in their moments of pain, guilt and ‘locked attitudes’ of their own. Few things that really stood out for me as I read the … Continue reading “MOTHERING GOD “

April 1, 2024

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THE MIND OF CHRIST

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: – Philippians 2:5 (KJV) Paul describes the mind Christ had from the beginning, before he came to the world, and during his life on earth. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made … Continue reading “THE MIND OF CHRIST”

March 1, 2024

From Pastor's Desk

Mark for Everyone

I am glad we are reading through the gospel of Mark for our Lenten meditations. This gospel is one of many favorites. I recommend this to the confirmation candidates as they prepare to be accepted into the full membership of the church. The gospel is like a movie trailer that moves from one scene to … Continue reading “Mark for Everyone”

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