Welcome + Worship + Witness

The Rector: Living with Covid-19

Trinity Sunday
7 June 2020
10.30 Morning Service

Revd Nicholas Mercer

I have been struck throughout this crisis by the close correlation between the lockdown and the liturgical calendar

Broadly speaking, we went into lockdown at Passiontide and now emerge on Trinity Sunday

While as Christians we followed the trials and tribulations of our Lord- we suffered our own trials and tribulations as a nation

When the Church recalled the death and resurrection of our Lord- we too mourned our dead and spoke of the risen Lord

And just as the disciples feared for their lives after the crucifixion -we too were afraid to venture outdoors

But now, as we begin to emerge from our own lockdown, we recall the first disciples emerging themselves in the power of Pentecost

And today is Trinity Sunday, the crowning glory of the Easter Story

Where we share the confidence of the first disciples and proclaim “Father, Son and Holy Ghost”

Trinity Sunday marks the beginning of a new chapter in our Church life

We go forward, for the next twenty weeks, in ordinary time and our challenge is to “live the Trinity”

But what might that mean?

The Trinity is notoriously difficult

It is a unique article of faith belonging to the Christian tradition as we believe in “one God”, who is three at the same time

The reality of the Trinity is a matter of revelation not reason but it does tell us something about the way we might lead our lives

First of all, it tells us that the Christian God is both a unity and community at the same time

Many of us have been living in isolation for the past three months and understand what it means to be an isolated individual

However, as we also know, this does not describe who we are because none of us live in total isolation

We live in community at the same time

The can mean the family, the school, the workplace, the parish, the world wide church

Within the community of the Trinity, there is relationship and an unceasing movement of mutual love

Just as the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves the Father and this is enabled by the Holy Spirit

We exist in community in the same way

“Living the Trinity” therefore means that we live in mutual love with our fellow brothers and sisters

Not only our brothers and sisters in Christ but all our brothers and sisters across the world

Whatever their race, whatever their faith

As a community we are an “ikon of the Trinity”

But this expression of Trinitarian love is also not something we do by standing still, merely existing

The Orthodox priest Father Kallistos Ware said of “living the Trinity”

 “It ought to have on our lives an effect that is nothing less than truly revolutionary…human beings are called to reproduce on earth the mystery of mutual love”

Living the Trinity therefore means, not just reflecting the same mutual love in our lives but translating that love into action

We have seen so much of this during the crisis

In our hospitals, care homes, foodbanks and in acts of charity to our family and neighbours

So many of us have “lived the Trinity” in ways, possibly, we have never so done before

And so on this Trinity Sunday, we begin a new chapter in the Church and in our lives:

We venture out like the first disciples who had to proclaim and live their faith in a time of great danger

So too are we going to have to proclaim and live our faith in a time of COVID-19

However, whatever the dangers, we can go forward, like them “living the Trinity”

Resolved to live in mutual love and reproducing the “mystery of mutual love” in community

As “ikons of the Trinity” the disciples changed the world

And if they can change the world by “living the Trinity” then so can we