Of all the weeks to forget to bring the minidisc, it was the one when I preached an unscripted sermon that actually said something useful!
It was centred around three anecdotes (jokes might be stretching it a bit, really)
- The bishop comes to the parish and sits down with the Sunday School. He asks them “What is the Trinity?” Hands shoot up “Father, Son and Holy Spirit, your grace!” So, trying to draw them on a bit he says “I’m afraid, I don’t really know what you mean…” Little Jonny sticks his hand up “You’re not supposed to, your Grace, it’s a mystery!”
- A small child returned from Mass and asked his Mother, “Mummy, God is here with us isn’t he?” “Oh Yes”, his Mother replied, “And he is here, in this kitchen, isn’t he?” “Yes, yes he is…” “And he’s here, at this kitchen table?” “Err, yes…” his Mother replies rather more cautiously. “And he’s here, in this sugar bowl then, isn’t he?” “Well, er.. yes, I suppose so…”. Quick as a flash, the lad grabs the bowl and pops his hand on top – “Gottim!”
- Three blind people are brought up to an elephant, to see what their experience would be. The first is placed at the front, and concludes that the trunk is a hosepipe, the second at the side believes his encounter to be a dry, dusty wall whilst the third at the back says “What idiot decided to put this fly swatter on the wall just above the latrine?”
Don’t worry about not understanding the Holy Trinity. It is a mystery. The nature of God is beyond our understanding. S. Anselm described it as that which is a step beyond our comprehension. God is revealed to us, but only in part. Scripture, tradition, and reason, coupled with our own experience of God is not sufficient. To believe that God can be fully captured inside the pages of a book would be to make him very small indeed.
Be open to the possibilities of Revelation, use the God-given insights that labels such as “Father” “Son” and “Spirit” afford us, and wonder at the awesome majesty of God, who creates, redeems and sustains, whose fingerprints can be seen throughout all of the created world.