Living Out the Trinity

This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday. Preaching on this day sometimes can be challenging and one can fall into the trap of sounding far too theological. I took the congregation through a mini-history lesson about the development of the Trinity (I think there was some nodding off). I think what many found interesting were my comments from one of my favourite thinkers, Fr. Richard Rohr. He makes the very important point that so much of what we do in Church is worship the divinity of Jesus and not live out his human ministry and teachings. In part this was due to the development of the Trinity because it also meant the development of a Christology. As the Church became more institutional it focused most of efforts on preserving a trinitarian Christology through its liturgy, creeds, doctrines, and prayers. This is not to suggest that creeds, doctrines, and liturgy are important – of course there important. However, what we do on Sunday in our churches can seem very removed from what Jesus taught and lived out. Rohr suggests that we need to be more like Francis of Assisi.

Francis developed an alternative way of following Jesus different from the teachings of the Church (but which also did not put him on the outs with the Church). Assisi never challenged the doctrines and creeds nor the authority of the Church. However, Francis did emphasize by his actions that we need to engage in ‘an imitation and love of the humanity of Jesus and the worshiping of his divinity.’ That is, the emphasis is on the incarnation of God in Jesus. The starting point is always responding to those in our midst who are in need of help, caring for the suffering, and including the outsider. Rohr writes that Francis did not challenge authority and structure but filled in the gaps.

So let’s continue to fill in the gaps through prayer, working with those who are marginalized, and leading a life each day that embraces Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

Peace be with you.

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