Preparing for Trinity Sunday


We find ourselves midway between two important and mysterious days in the life of the church. Last Sunday was Pentecost. Special shout out to all those who wore red in observance of the birthday of the church, that day when the Holy Spirit descended on the church with fire and wind and great power.

In a few days, we’ll come to Trinity Sunday, the only Sunday in the church year dedicated to a doctrine of the church, one that is indeed mysterious, a day embedded in our liturgy, providing the structure for the creed we say each week. Trinity Sunday is a tricky day for preachers. Wise rectors will often call in a guest preacher or a seminarian to take a stab at explaining what is essentially inexplicable: the mystery of God’s reality confined to our limited language and concepts.

Thanks be to God, you’ll be in good hands this Sunday with the very fine preacher, our deacon Kitty Davis. I look forward to hearing her take on Trinity Sunday. I always learn something from her sermons. But before you hear what she has to say, and as a way to get ready for Sunday, spend time reflecting on what the Trinity means to you.

We’ve had a great set up for that kind of reflection. Last Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost, helped us think about the gift of the Holy Spirit, a power that forges unity out of diversity. Where have you seen the Holy Spirit at work, in your life, in the lives of others, in your community?

A few days before Pentecost, we observed the Feast of the Ascension, the story of Jesus’ ascending to heaven as he concluded his ministry on earth. We can join the disciples in thinking about how his departure makes us realize what a gift it was to have him among us. What does it mean to you that the word was made flesh and dwelt among us? Who is Jesus for you?

And in this Spring season when new life bursts forth with the distinctive beauty of the part of the world in which we are privileged to reside, celebrate the miracle of creation, mindful of the God who created all things (including us). What does it mean to you that we live and move and have our being in the created order, so obviously filled with loving intention?

Get ready for Trinity Sunday, a mysterious, even puzzling day for sure. But one that gives us a chance to go deeper in devotion to the one who creates, redeems and sustains us. We need not understand it fully to know that it represents our hope.

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham is the executive director of RenewalWorks, a product of his time as rector at Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, IL. Jay and his wife have two children, both of whom graduated from Wake Forest University. In 2013, Jay and his wife re-located to Wilmington, NC where he also serves as an Associate Rector at St. James Parish. Jay is well known for his cartoons for the Church Pension Group and for his work as an animator for Schoolhouse Rock.

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