While our building is open, we also have a video for you to enjoy safely at home if you do not feel comfortable with the arrangements required for our in-church services.
The Reverend Deacon Dorothy pierce was here today and preached a sermon at St. Mark's for Trinity Sunday
Sermon TextL Trinity Sunday
And from Lamentations 5:19, “You O Lord reign for ever; your throne endures from generation to generation.” (Some extra special words for Trinity Sunday, today is God’s Day!) One of the men at the jail yelled to me this past week, “Yay, God, Sister!” I will add to you, “Yay, God, Sisters and Brothers!” Today is a very special day! That purity of spirit shouted down the hallway (and all the hallways of our lives) allows us to remember that God is always with us, wonderfully, mysteriously, lovingly, surprisingly. Let’s never doubt that. In Trinity fashion – God, our Father, Creator, your artistry is so beautiful, unpredictable, powerful. God, alive and bursting into our dreams, alive in the ministry, heart, and actions of Jesus, you make that same power and potential available to each one of us. God, pulsing through our blood, our veins, the vessels of our beings, your Holy Spirit is always on the move in our lives. “Yay, God!”
Having read scripture, having prayed in our own quiet moments, praying too, in and through the Church, what are we brought to say about God today on Trinity Sunday? What have we said about God lately? What have we said to God lately? “Where are you? Are you listening to us, helping us? What do we need to do to see, hear, feel you near us?” Or maybe, “Thank you, God.” Take a breath, speak something to God right now.
When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I had something to say to God one Sunday morning in church. It was this: “God, are you really here with us now?” I remember that right about that moment, Mrs. Eldred, the church organist, started singing at the top of her lungs, pummeling the keys and pumping away on the pedals of that big old organ. (Sing “This is My Father’s World”). She was a little woman, and her feet barely reached those pedals, but her playing and singing were exuberant, powerful, so much so that I was certain it was God up there leading the congregation in song!
Minutes later, my father, the minister, started preaching a sermon that seemed to shake the stain-glass windows around the sanctuary. “Wake up out there, the Holy Spirit has work assignments for each one of you!” Dad, in his usual fashion, was shouting (lovingly), rapping his hands on the pulpit to stir everyone up, and again, it felt that God was advancing upon us in a mysteriously wonderful way. My 5 or 6 year old mind was a little suspicious as I thought, “How did you get over to the pulpit so fast, God?”
Somewhere around then, my brother Eddie decided he had to go to the bathroom and slid quietly out of the pew, only to drop immediately through a grate in the floor along the side aisle of the church. People gasped! Almost as quickly as he disappeared down into the hole, Eddie rose up like a diver with a bag of pearls, causing everyone there to clap and cheer, and for me to say, “Thank you, God, for saving my brother!” And in my wee little mind and spirit, I was absolutely certain that yes, God was there with us that day, that God had put on flesh in three different people and in three different places, all at the same time. And, of course, we know that God is always with us, in the flesh and in the spirit, God connected eternally to and moving dynamically in all of us, everywhere and all the time! It is a gift and mystery that we cannot fully comprehend, but we are invited to believe, to enjoy, to treasure throughout our lives.
Let’s be sure we are saying things about and to God every day. And while it is “ok” to ask, “Where are you, God, in all the violence, unrest, the hunger and illness and disparities, challenges, and distortions of life today?” may we also grow in greater confidence of God’s presence, healing, redemption, and love in our lives. Hear Isaiah’s warning to not turn away from God; be sensitive to God’s immediate presence in the world; allow ourselves to be touched and filled with God’s glory, even and especially in our broken world. Psalm 29 is a reminder that God does have tremendous power and wants to generously share with and make readily available to us so we can work effectively, faithfully with every issue of our present time. Paul once again reminds us that the HS dwells within us; we are ALL part of God’s spirit, part of the divine dance and music and God’s best gifts: his Son, his HS, love, forgiveness, baptism, communion, salvation, eternal life. Yay, God!
John’s Gospel reading for Trinity Sunday is amazing! Although Nicodemus, a Jewish Pharisee and teacher of Israel, had much to lose (security, position, power), he came to Jesus personally, admiring him and asking Jesus deep, genuine questions. We can do that too, through the darkness of our own lives, promised a new day dawning, God’s actions beginning anew. Through prayer and love and belief (3:16), we can have what Jesus offered Nicodemus – a healthy, lasting relationship with God, a spiritual rebirth, a ticket to eternal life – and not by living a better life, BUT by receiving a brand-new life from God! When we consider all we have been through the past 14 plus months, let’s not ask for a return to the old or even a repairing of the former pre-pandemic life, but ready to receive a whole new life, a mysteriously wonderful gift from our Triune God!
Now may the grace of Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all forever. God, you are a mystery, yet we believe and love you always. Yay, God! AMEN.