The Week Ahead…
May 31 – 10:00am – (gathering 9:30am) – Pentecost service through Zoom Meeting ID 834 7356 6532, Password 748745
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May 31 – 11:15am – National Cathedral church service online Bishop Curry preaches
June 3 – 10:00am – Ecumenical Bible Study through Zoom Meeting ID 871 4255 8446, Password 144832
June 7 – First Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday
June 7 – 10:00am – (gathering 9:30am) – Pentecost service through Zoom Meeting ID 834 7356 6532, Password 748745
June 7 – 11:15am – National Cathedral church service online
Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020
Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, honors the Holy Trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Although the word “trinity” does not appear in Scripture, it is taught in Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 (and many other biblical passages). It lasts only one day, which is symbolic of the unity of the Trinity.
Trinity Sunday is one of the few feasts of the Christian Year that celebrates a reality and doctrine rather than an event or person. The Eastern Churches have no tradition of Trinity Sunday, arguing that they celebrate the Trinity every Sunday.
Understanding of all scriptural doctrine is by faith which comes through the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is appropriate that this mystery is celebrated the first Sunday after the Pentecost, when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit first occurred.
The Trinity is best described in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, commonly called the Nicene Creed. Essentially the Trinity is the belief that God is one in essence (Greek "ousia"), but distinct in person (Greek "hypostasis"). The Greek word for person means "that which stands on its own," or "individual reality," and does not mean the persons of the Trinity are three human persons. Therefore we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are somehow distinct from one another (not divided though), yet completely united in will and essence.
Visualizing the Trinity
The Trinity is most commonly seen in Christian art with the Spirit represented by a dove, as specified in the Gospel accounts of the Baptism of Christ; he is nearly always shown with wings outspread. However depictions using three human figures appear occasionally in most periods of art.
The Father and the Son are usually differentiated by age, and later by dress, but this too is not always the case. The usual depiction of the Father as an older man with a white beard may derive from the biblical Ancient of Days, which is often cited in defense of this sometimes controversial representation.
The Son is often shown at the Father’s right hand.[Acts 7:56 ] He may be represented by a symbol—typically the Lamb or a cross—or on a crucifix, so that the Father is the only human figure shown at full size. In early medieval art, the Father may be represented by a hand appearing from a cloud in a blessing gesture, for example in scenes of the Baptism of Christ.
The Apple pie as a symbol of the Trinity.
"This pie is Trinitarian for several reasons. First of all, it has three parts. It has a crust, it has a filling, and it has a topping. Second, each of the three parts has three ingredients.
"The crust is made of flour with a little salt thrown in, some shortening, and some ice water. The filling contains apples, sugar, and cinnamon. The topping is made of a trinity of flour, butter and sugar.
"When all of these ingredients are subjected to the heat of the oven over a period of time, they merge together into one delicious pie, which would not be complete if any of the ingredients were lacking.
"This apple pie is a great symbol for God as Trinity. In order to understand most fully who God is, we Christians know God as the transcendent God, so mysterious that we will never ever know God fully in this life. We know God as Jesus, who lived and died as one of us—not some far off distant deity, but God who experienced the joys and sorrows of being human. We know God as that voice that whispers to us, bringing us inspiration, understanding, and guidance. The ways in which we know God are incomplete until we embrace all of these ways of knowing God, knowing that even then God remains a mystery. This pie would be incomplete without its three parts."
Hymn of the Week – Holy! Holy! Holy!
Reginald Heber (1783 – 1826) was an English clergyman, traveller, man of letters and hymn-writer who, after working as a country parson for 16 years, served as the Anglican Bishop of Calcutta until his sudden death at the age of 42.
Reginald Heber wrote "Holy, Holy, Holy" while serving as vicar of Hodnet, Shropshire, England. He was the first to compile a hymnal ordering hymns around the church calendar. Wanting to celebrate a triune God, Heber wrote "Holy, Holy, Holy" for Trinity Sunday–a day that reaffirmed the doctrine of the Trinity and was observed eight Sundays after Easter. The hymn was first published in 1826.
Years later, John Dykes composed the tune Nicaea especially for Heber’s "Holy, Holy, Holy."
Text and tune were first published together in 1861. Since that time, this popular hymn has appeared in hundreds of hymnals and been translated into many languages.
The Nicene Creed, line by line
We say this creed every Sunday in the Eucharist service. It is the central creed or belief of Christianity and goes back to 325AD. On Trinity Sunday it is good to break it down into its essential meaning.
Walls of Nicea
"I believe in one God"
The Greek, Latin and proper English translations begin with "I" believe, because reciting the creed is an individual expression of belief.
"the Father Almighty "
God the Father is the first person, within the Godhead. The Father is the "origin" or "source" of the Trinity. From Him, came somehow the other two. God the Father is often called "God Unbegotten" in early Christian thought.
"Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible"
Everything that is was created by God. Some early sects, the Gnostics and Marcionites, believed that God the Father created the spirit world, but that an "evil" god (called the demiurge) created the similarly evil material world.
"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, "
Jesus is Lord and Master of all this creation. No tyrant, Jesus is Lord, teacher, counselor, friend and servant.
"the only-begotten Son of God "
Jesus is in a unique relationship with God the Father, His only Son. While Hebrew kings were sons of God symbolically, Jesus is the only Son of God by nature.
"Begotten of his Father before all worlds "
Begotten has the meaning of born, generated, or produced. God the Son is out of the essence of God the Father. The Son shares the essential nature of God with the Father. Since God is eternal, the Son, being begotten of God, is also eternal. Jesus was begotten of the Father before this world came into being and was present at its creation.
The Lectionary, June 7, 2020
"The Trinity" – Hermano Leon
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
The week is seemingly about beginnings and end – creation in the Old Testament and the Trinity in the New Testament. The Epistle and Gospel are the concluding verses in the 2nd Corinthians and Matthew . The key concept that bring creation and Trinity together is worship. The Gospel emphasis on the disciples worshipping the risen Lord and spread His teachings. The creation stories describe God worthy of worship.
Furthermore this is for us a time of transition as we move into Ordinary Time. Our liturgical calendar is top-heavy in that all of the major seasons and holy days of the church happen in the first half of the church year which begins on the first Sunday of Advent. The second half of the year is rather quiet. It is a time to go deeper into the life of Jesus and the great stories of the Old Testament.
Both of the Old Testament readings for this day look at the work of the Creator, in the first account of Creation found in Genesis, and more specifically at the creation of humankind in Psalm 8, our purpose and our role. Both Psalm 8 and Genesis 1 explain the role of humanity to have dominion over the creatures of the earth, and both suggest that this dominion is given by the same God who has dominion over us. The understanding of stewardship and care is explicit in this understanding of having dominion.
Both of these passages also suggest that God is in relationship in a divine sense. In Genesis, God says, “Let us make humankind in our image.” In Psalm 8:5, the psalmist sings, “Yet you have made them [human beings] a little lower than God.”
As God is in relationship with us, we are created in the image of God: in the image of relationship. We were created to be in relationship with one another because this is the image of the Divine: God is in relationship. Jesus made this clear, especially in John’s Gospel, in referring to God as “Abba, Father.”
We know that breath, wind and spirit are the same words in Hebrew as in the Greek–we have experienced the wind from God that swept over the waters in the second verse of the Bible as the Holy Spirit, moving through the house on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 like the rush of a violent wind, breathing on the disciples from Jesus the night after his resurrection in John 20.
The concept of the Trinity is hard to find in the Bible. The two New Testament passages thihs week are among the very few that mention all three: God the Creator (Father/Mother of us all), Christ the Son (Savior, Redeemer and Messiah), and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost). The Trinity as a doctrine came later in the life of the church, as did most of our doctrines and core theological beliefs.
For Trinity Sunday, we recognize and celebrate the mystery of God’s relationship with God’s self, and the mystery of our own relationship with God, created a little lower than God/Angels/Divine Beings and recognize our relationship with God, all of humanity, and creation as shared in Genesis 1 and Psalm 8. And we recognize our own calling by this Triune God through the person of Jesus Christ in our commission to the world in Matthew 28.
Some of us have our doubts, even about the mystery of the Trinity, but we all are called by the same Jesus to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This is our call–to make disciples in the names of all Three in One. Holy, holy, holy. God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity. We are comforted by Jesus last remark “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
On this Father’s Day, we celebrate the Trinity, and we also can celebrate the relationship Jesus had with God, one in which Jesus called God Abba, Father.
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Saints of the Week, – May 31 – June 7, 2020
|The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167|
|Martyrs of Lyon, 177|
|The Martyrs of Uganda, 1886|
|[John XXIII (Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli)], Bishop & Church Reformer, 1963|
|Boniface, Bishop & Missionary, 754|
|Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945|
|The Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 1890|