A Busy Sunday
This coming Sunday is the celebration of the Holy Trinity. Did you know that more Episcopal churches are dedicated to the Trinity than to any other saint? Sunday is also Father’s Day and you can view its checkered history
The Trinity arises out of the experience of the first Christians who knew God as creator, but also in the person Jesus, and then through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine emerges much later as a means of protecting the mystery of God’s nature rather than explaining it. So, if you don’t understand it, that’s fine. You are not meant to! Traditionally the three-fold experience of God was identified by the pronouns Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Patriarchal gender bias has led most of us to conflate the fatherhood of God with maleness, which brings me to Father’s Day.
The fatherhood of God is more than a projection of our human notions of fathers and fatherhood. The fatherhood of God is a communication of the masculine principle of creation, containment, and protection.
Here are three takeaways about the Trinity:
The Trinity reveals God not as a solitary individual but as a community of love.
Our desire to seek out relationships and to form communities is a reflection of being made in the image of God who is also relationship seeking and communal by nature.
The gendered references to God as father, son, and holy spirit (which should take the feminine pronoun) recognize the relational
not the gendered identity of God. I prefer the substitution of Lover, Beloved, and Love Sharer to bring out the relational aspect while avoiding the crude gender stereotyping.
Here are some pointers about Fatherhood:
Fatherhood is the masculine principle of creation, and a counterpart to the feminine principle of receptivity motherhood – both equally core attributes of God.
When our male fathers embody the divine principle of fatherhood, they become co-creators not just in the sense of biological procreation but as creators and protectors of an environmental and emotional space– within which the mother and infant experience an uninterrupted enjoyment of one another.
Fatherhood as a masculine principle is not coterminous with male gender.
Fathers need not be perfect but like mothers, need only to be good enough. They will sometimes fail in their early role as creators and protectors of the mother-infant relationship due to their own emotional unpreparedness for their role.
This Sunday let’s celebrate fatherhood, both as a core attribute of God and as well as our earthly fathers.
Trinity Sunday will also mark the beginning of my 6
th year as rector. The last five years represent an energy-filled time when together, we have worked to strengthen the foundations of our parish community enabling us to take on new challenges going forward as exciting opportunities. In speaking of challenges, this Sunday, we will hold a presentation in the Church immediately following-on from the end of the 9:30 Eucharist and preceding coffee hour at which our resident church architect, Peter Lofgren, will take us through the aspects of the major work currently being undertaken concerning the tower, chapel, roof, and east window project. Although Trinity Sunday is a major celebration of the Church and the last Choral Sunday of the program year, every effort will be made to ensure that the addition of the presentation will not greatly exceed the usual length of the 9:30 service. I commend the upcoming presentation as something of significant interest to all our members.
See you in church, on Trinity Sunday.