Proverbs 8:1-4; 22-31; John 16:12-15
Today is what we call Trinity Sunday. A day when we try to formulaically try to describe something which cannot be pinned down into a solid form and made to go where we like. A day when all of our feeble explanations seem to turn to dust and fall away. Yet we try to explain the mystery and leave it in mystery.
This week I have been at the Featival of Homiletics in Atlanta and as I was thinking of today this came to mind in three different experiences during the week. The first is God on the second day of the festival Walter Brueggemann gave a sermon on chosenness. In it he was explaining about how God is the one who chooses the vessel he operates from. God creates everything. We are wrong to think we can mold and shape it into something that is only for us. Only meant to highlight out specialness. For when we fall into this trap we forget God is the Creator and can opt to bestow this on anyone. Even a foreign king, as God does in Isaiah with Cyrus. So God is creator which only explains one aspect of God and leaves the door open for many more.
The first day of the festival we started with worship and a huge procession. Easter lilies decorated the altar and the cross as it came in. When we finished singing "Christ the Lord is risen today" we were welcomed to our own Easter service, since we do not sit in the pews for that big celebration the planners wanted to give this worship to us. Complete with the text from John and Mary in the tombs weeping. We got how much it was to miss Jesus. To stay and wait and how we can't hold onto him because when we do we loose who Jesus really is.
Day three, worship at the theatre and with Cládio Carvalhaes. Holy Spirit is what we are talking about here. His preaching rang through his body as he gathered us visibly with his arms drawing us into community with "There must be more to life than this". As he explained all the brokenness which separates and divides us and weaved us together with his hands into 1 Corinthians 13 and God's love. The movements again healing and bringing together the community listening. Until you began to notice the tongues of flame coming from the pulpit in every sheet of cast out words licking and landing on the ground as he throws down his text. Ushered into expectation, expecting more from this life, expecting an encounter with love.
Three different days, three different encounters and somehow they give us only a shade of what today means. It is not unlike our texts today from Proverbs and John. First with Proverbs which tries to describe how wisdom came to be. It always has been considered the Okd Testament version of the Holy Spirit and you can see why as the writer describes how it always has been, from the beginning of time. Not created, not made, not something to be learned. Something which just is and cannot be pinned down. Something like the wind.
John's text. We are still with Jesus and the disciples before he is arrested. Still in the long prayer and instructions he gives to the disciples before he leaves them. He lets them know there is so much more he could teach. There is another who will come to teach. The Advocate, the word which means so much more than this one. We hear the echoes of all the oneness of the Father and the Son, echoed into the Advocate. There is nothing concrete here, nothing we can pin down.
This is the divine mystery of this day. This is what we celebrate. As we grow and learn and wisdom visits us all these persons of the Trinity meld and change and dance. Yes, dance for us. Dance for us in experience weaving our lives into a community of faith. Touched by the workings of the One who leads us onto new pathways. All we have to do is be willing to open ourselves to the music of the dance. Holy, holy, holy, will you join?