Trinity Sunday – Sunday 19th June 2011
Matthew 28: 16-20
Trinity Sunday is not always a Sunday that I easily understand. Why is it in the church calendar? Is it just a doctrine to be taught? Does it not really fit into the grand scheme of things elsewhere? Is there just a spare Sunday on the calendar? Is next week Predestination Sunday? Or perhaps Wear your Hat to Church Sunday?
I make this pronouncement simply because I think that every day should be Trinity Sunday. At the heart of what we believe, at the heart of everything we preach, at the heart of how we live our lives should be Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Creator, Saviour, Energiser – Maker, Friend, Helper.
But then again, I suppose, every day should be an Easter Day. No wait, every day should be a Pentecostal Day. Or should every day be Christmas Day – wouldn’t the kids love that?
The trouble is, there’s so much to learn about the Christian faith. What should we prioritise? What should we put first? It’s hard to be a disciple.
Now hold on a cotton picking moment. Where have I heard that before?
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
As fine as the New Living Translation of the Bible is there are times when The Message just outstrips it. This is just one of those occasions. Even though it doesn’t say, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…”, immediately alienating the KJV Appreciation Society, it does say:
“Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life…”.
Christianity is not a series of doctrines to be learned. Our faith doesn’t rise and fall on a few exams to be passed. Discipleship is about a way of life. And Jesus’ commission in Matthew’s gospel makes that plain. Even Peter, James and John had much more to learn, they were becoming. But they had to embrace the way of life, they to become disciples, they had to start the journey.
And on that journey they would encounter Easter, Advent, Pentecost, Trinity. They would meet forgiveness, healing, compassion, love, peace, joy. They’d learn through worship, study, talking, listening, arguing. Their faith would be shaped by rejection, resentment, bereavement, hatred, alienation. And amazing things like friendships, silence, glorious sunsets, good food, laughter, tears, music and football would be as much a part of the journey as anything else. And it is only possible through the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
What are you becoming? I’m just happy becoming …