SUNDAY’S READINGS | May 30
We gather in the name of one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God, not three. One God in unity and substance, one God who creates and redeems and sustains. The three persons do not destroy the unity. Instead, they tell a story of love, a unity of creative and loving exchange.
There is a font of being, a hidden ground of love from which all things come. Yet, even before there was anything, the font of being, whom we are bold to call Father, pours love out to love’s object, the eternal Son of the Father. The Son, being and receiving the love of the Father, returns that love in an endless exchange of love called the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures, the Creeds, and the whole Christian tradition tell us that God is this love from before time and forever. When God created, he created out of this same eternal Love. “Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself” (BCP, p. 362).
We may, with the Scriptures, imagine the Trinity while never losing sight of the unity. The Father, whom the Christian tradition in the West also and often calls Parens (parent) and Fons (font), may be thought of as the transcendent source of all being. “I saw the Lord,” says the prophet Isaiah, “sitting on a throne, high and lofty, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him … and one called to another said; ‘Holy holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:1-8). God is in the high vault of heaven, shedding glory into the world and beholding the depths (Cant. 13). “Who is like the Lord our God who is seated on high?” (Ps. 113:5).
What a joy it is for the Church to exclaim, “Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One” (Trisagion). In such praise, we ascend with our hearts higher and higher, above all that we can know or imagine until we seem almost to touch “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” (St. Anselm). But, in truth, we cannot ascend to such heights on our own; we cannot go unaided to where God is, we cannot touch the hem of the Father’s robe but for the unimaginable good news that God has come to us in a Son.
God is with us. “The Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14). Jesus is “the splendor of the temple,” a walking “throne of majesty,” the presence “seated between the Cherubim” (Cant. 13). “All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:15). “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). Jesus is also the Son of Man, our brother and companion, our teacher and healer, the archetypal human being. Still, he is transfiguring glory, light from light, true God from true God. Jesus is the way to the Father.
The only way to know the Father and the Son is to be “born from above,” “born of water and Spirit” (John 3:3, 5). After his ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to rest upon us, dwell within us, and lead us into all truth. In the Spirit, we know the Son, and through the Son, we come to the Father. This mystical and true knowing is pure and everlasting love.
The Lord sits enthroned. The Lord walks among us. The Lord is water and Spirit welling up in us.
Look It Up: The Collect
Think About It: We acknowledge and worship the glory of the Eternal Trinity, one God. We do so because you, O God, have given your servants grace.