Returning home on Wednesday evening from a formal function in the City of London, the Uber Driver looked in his rear view mirror seeing me dressed up in my clerical suit, and asked, “Are you a police officer?” I replied, “no”. “Are you a lawyer?” again I replied “no! certainly not”. He looked again in his rear-view mirror and asked, “What are you then?” I replied “a priest” he then asked, “what sort of a priest” and I replied, “a good one.”
Now that final reply from me is open to question (I know) and with insight and understanding, it is not the consistent truth I would like it to be. But, what that encounter reminded me was that for most of us, there is a need to peer a little more carefully into who one another might be. That encounter led me to ask him, what do you do? And in addition to being an Uber driver – he revealed that he owned a fleet of 60 cars which he runs throughout London offering ethical and fair employment in the Capital.
Looks are often deceiving but actions are not!
Yet, without proper enquiry we might be limited in our understanding of each other if we know each other only on face value or on the actions we see worked out within this community without wondering what is the motivation behind them and behind one another.
The feast of the Holy and Undivided Trinity asks us to look a bit more closely at God and the actions of God revealed in our scriptures, our communion and our life of prayer – and to seek to understand what God is and how he can be revealed to us.
We are not only to take the revelation of God on face value like words on a page, but are asked to look closer to the God we worship revealed in Jesus, and at the life of the Holy Spirit so that we in turn understand through their influence who we are in the world.
You will remember your scriptures, and that the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters and brought order and structure to what had otherwise been the chaos.
That same Spirit and life of God is breathed into humankind when they take their first breath in the garden of Eden where God the Gardener is rejoicing in all that he has made.
That Spirit is also the life within Jesus which not only reveals him as the will of the Father, but which is yielded up to God when Jesus offers himself on the Cross which humankind uses to try and destroy God.
But we cannot destroy nor comprehend the awesomeness of God and that Jesus off the Cross is the same “supposing him to be the gardener” who is the revelation of the Father’s power, purpose and presence on Easter Day when Mary meets him in the Garden. That Garden echo’s the garden of Eden where the power of God is realized at the beginning of all thing and where Chaos has been brought into order and God is recognizable in the person of the Risen Jesus.
Throughout scripture there is an interplay between Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. They are active and purposeful in their shared life, they are united and reflect in each other their engagement and unity with each other – and because there is relationship at the heart of God, through our communion there is relationship with one another, and between us and those three, who we worship as one united and undivided Trinity.
It is undeniable that the Father is revealed in Jesus, as he reconciles and forgives all of creation thereby revealing the Father to the world. But it is Jesus the unmoved, the unchanged, the one who is never to be undone, the eternal revelation of the Fathers love, poured out in the healing miracles, in the reconciliation moments, and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit who we worship and who shows us the life of God in its fullest manifestation.
Outside of questions about what you or I do which reflects something of who we are… are the deeper questions of identity which is revealed in the Holy Trinity and in which we as disciples must always be enquiring and looking to understand. Co-eternal, eo-equal, The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit One in Love, and One in splendour and we as a community of faith worked out in love, are inheritors of that purpose to be one in love, one in splendour as the community who represent and are the Body of Christ.
Today we to commit to the ground of this church the ashes of our departed dear brother Trevor Wheble, we remember that at his funeral Trevor was committed into that eternal and lively union with God. He was received to be one in love and one in splendour with God – Father, Ascended Son, and Holy Spirit.
It would be easy to stand here and tell you what Trevor did… that he was faithful to this community of faith, that he adorned our worship with his beautiful singing voice, that he was a discreet fixer of things which weren’t quite right, that he was a loyal husband and extremely proud father, that in his work as Site Supervisor his love of St John’s was affirmed.
But if the question to Trevor was, like that question I faced the other evening “what kind of a Trevor Wheble” was he, I think he would be most justified than most in replying with confidence “a good one!”
For me and many others – our enquiry of Trevor was that revealed at great depths there was a profound goodness to him. I am not saying he was perfect – but at a deep level of his innate expression of who he was there was in Trevor – Good.
Trevor revealed in his nature something of what he would have known of God, or seen through worship or understood from hearing the scriptures or receiving the Sacrament. He revealed good to this community and beyond. What we celebrate on this Trinity Sunday is the revelation of Good seen to be at work in and through God, and that Good is love worked out in all of creation through the Father, through the Son and through the Holy Spirit. Three persons, one God, one purpose. So let us consider what is revealed in us who worship, and who look to God for purpose and understanding.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen