May 28, 2018 - Trinity Sunday
There are those who say the Trinity is an outdated symbol. Trying to preach it is hard work. I grew up singing, “Holy, holy, holy, God in three persons, blessed trinity.” That was about as “high church” as we allowed. My Sunday school teacher tried to explain it illustrating with water, ice, and air—-helping us to see it’s all water in three forms.
Biblical sources for the three natures are skimpy, but we hardly can be the Church without this divine mystery.
Colleague Hugh Stone recently gave me Richard Rohr’s new book
The Divine Dance—the Trinity and your Transformation.
Rohr gave me a bit more information than I needed, but he did help. I especially like the way he speaks of mystery. Mystery isn’t something that you cannot understand—it is something that you can endlessly understand! But, there is no point at which you can say, “I’ve got it.”
Always and forever, mystery gets you.
Rohr sees the Trinity as a circle dance of love. God is a flow, a radical relatedness, a perfect communion between three—a circle dance of love. And God is not just a dancer—
God is the dance
A farmer friend in my first church, sometimes after I had impressed the folks with my brilliant theology, would say “Bill, what does that have to do with the price of corn and beans?” meaning, “break all of this stuff down to something that will help.”
If God is the dance, then according to Matthew, we are invited to dance in God’s name. For me dancing is hard work. I barely know the two-step. My problem is the spectacle I make or how I look out there on the dance floor.
At a recent wedding reception, I watched the young folks working hard to get old dad and mom out on the floor. As the Reverend, perhaps I would be missed. But no–everyone needed to dance to make things complete. I am envious of those who can just cut loose.
I have this image of the new church as the Dance of God-- some doing the two-step, others the waltz, line dancing going on, none sitting it out, to and fro gliding, in one timeless happening, an unchained melody of love. In those moments, no one is doing analysis or questioning, especially if we figure out that the Lord of the dance is the Dance.
And this: In Matthew the people are listening to Jesus for the last time. “Go and teach the nations all that I have taught you in the name of Father, Son, and holy ghost.” And should we get it right, perhaps all people and all nations will join the dance of life. Jew and Arab, two Koreas merged into one glorious waltz, Dreamers teaching politicians the two-step—all of God’s children doing some crazy motion in rhythm.
Can you imagine Jew and Arab, Korean and Korean, and all “enemies” being called out to the dance floor, two and fro—and perhaps we will decide to look past everyone’s differences too. Wouldn’t that be something?!
Prayer: Dear God, lead us to the floor, calm our fears, turn the music up, as we join you and for a moment find ourselves “lost in wonder, love and praise.” Amen
Please Note: The Rev. Bill Steward will write the MEMO in June. And Bill knows about the dance and the dancer.