Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday
Father, Son, Holy Spirit!

Genesis 1:1-2:4a 
Psalm 8 
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 
Matthew 28:16-20 
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Matthew 28: 19

Tena koutou katoa e te whanau o Te Wairua Tapu.

Today the church celebrates Trinity Sunday. It’s the day when I am supposed to explain what it all means. In short, the Trinity equals God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That’s it. I’ve learnt over the years that when it comes to thinking about God and trying to explain how God functions is something that an individual must discover for themselves. Why? Because today, every person has their own understanding and perspective about God. Some only believe in God, not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Others believe Jesus is God, therefore, there is no need for God or the Holy Spirit. And then those, who believe we only need the Holy Spirit to lead us to God not Jesus. And the list goes on.

I recall a cousin visiting Sydney about 30 years ago and she came with me one night and she asked, ‘Where are we going?’ It was about 9.30pm and I replied, ‘A whanau has asked if we could go to their whare and have karakia’. My cousin quickly answered, ‘Ea, you’re wasting your time. God won’t hear your prayers, he’s gone to sleep!’ Simple theology but effective and she never went to a theological college like I was privileged to do five years later. Of course, I disagreed with her but didn’t tell her as she would’ve slapped my ears! Then I’ve heard on numerous occasions that we all believe in One God and worship the same God. Seriously? Look around, is all what is happening in the world okay because we worship the One and the same God? People are tired of listening to theological concepts devised by other people that don’t culturally and socially fit with their community. Is my opinion really that important to explain how the Trinity is constructed and how it works? Google Trinity and you will get hundreds of interpretations much better than mine! 

For me, when you see people holding bibles and others saying open them up, that’s okay, but the problem is they all need to read what is written inside.  And once you have read what is written you apply it to your life. Simple. Well, obviously not. We are constantly told by others this is what it says but remember my job is to interpret scripture not live by it. You see, we were given the Bible and told this is what’s contained inside, you can’t read and you’re not smart enough so we will train and indoctrinate people to teach you about what‘s inside but whatever you do, you can’t think for yourself okay, because you’re not smart enough and you’ll be wrong. So, how’s that been going for you, me and the world?

Whanau, part of my role as a priest is to teach. So I will always challenge and encourage you to think for yourself, especially when it comes to God and your faith. The simplest way I can explain the Bible today is that it’s made up of three sections: 1. The Old Testament (God’s story) 2. The Gospels (Jesus’ story) and 3. The Epistles (The Holy Spirit’s story). And everything that goes on in all three stories is interconnected and all about God’s unconditional love for all creation throughout time and space. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That’s the Trinity. 

I’m assuming you’ve read the readings for today but in case you haven’t, here are three passages taken from them for you to ponder on. Firstly, (God’s story) In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3) Secondly, (Jesus’ story) Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:16-20) Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Thirdly, (The Holy Spirit’s story) Brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:11-13) 

The Holy Trinity is not a concept to be explained, a numbers game to be calculated, or a problem to be solved. It’s a life to be lived and love to be shared with others. In other words, stop thinking about God and live the life you are called to be and share the love we have received from God. Amen.

Blessed Trinity, we know you as a community of love. Grant us such worship of you that we are transformed after your likeness; to be creative, caring, life enriching people. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love. This we ask through Christ our Mediator. Amen 

The Venerable Kaio Karipa