COCU40A.Trinity Sunday A.11th June 2017

(see also Trinity Sunday B and Trinity Sunday C)

A collection of resources here: Trinity Sunday A

Words for Worship 2011: w4w Trinity A

Psalm 8 developed for Great Prayer of Thanksgiving (Rev Jeff Shrowder)
(it is ‘topped and tailed’ with words from a prayer in Uniting in Worship 2)
Holy and life-giving God, we offer you thanks and praise in wonder and awe, in delight and astonishment: for you are Creator of all things, and Lover of each one.
You have made us in your image,
and surrounded us with the glory and splendour of your creating word.
Yet you have given us these works of your hands:
you have put the world at our feet;
sheep and cattle, kangaroo and emu,
birds of the air – magpie and pelican,
fish of the sea – dolphin and barramundi
all the creatures that live and move in the depths and shallows,
the creatures of the deep and the ocean floor.
O LORD, our God, how splendid is your name in all the earth.
When we failed to honour your work and your being,
your Word of Wisdom came among us in Jesus,
sharing with us the joy and pain of our humanity
Therefore, with the whole creation …

Meerkats

Image sourced from ABC news.

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers of thanksgiving, confession and assurance (based on Psalm 8)
Majestic and mysterious God,
you have set the heavens ablaze with your glory,
and whispers of your truth
sound from the mouths of babies before they can speak.
When I look at the multitude of stars
that you have spun into place,
I wonder why you would bother with us humans.
How insignificant we are compared to all of this.
How can you possibly care for us –
we are so small, so vulnerable and so temporary.
Yet you give us the biggest job of all
to care for your imaginative creation,
you have placed the precious works of your hands
beneath our feet so we might tread with sacred steps,
nurturing and nourishing the earth, sea and sky
holding all of life with our own life.
Majestic and mysterious God
your name echoes through everything
until it rests in our hearts.
Creator, Parent, Father, Mother God forgive us
when we forget to notice your wonders around us
when our vision is limited to our own concerns
Jesus the Christ, Son of God, one who calls us
forgive us when we fail to listen and to follow
and when we forget to call others into discipleship
Spirit of God, unseen as the wind, gentle as the dove
forgive us when we choose to be comfortable
instead of being disturbed into action for justice for all
Brothers and sisters in Christ
God sent the Son into the world, not to judge but to save,
and the Spirit is promised as our comforter and guide
be assured that there is nothing that can come between us
and the forgiving, healing and renewing power
of the love of God, three in one,
Source, Son & Spirit.
Know and live as children who are free
We are forgiven  – thanks be to God, Amen (Rev. Jennie Gordon)

God is love
God is Love.
Love is not an object but an action, a process.
God is love and the loving of love, and the receiving of love.
God is an unfolding relationship.
So God is one, and yet must also be more than one.
God is a loving parent and a begotten child
and the love that proceeds from them, all three.
God is community. God is a family.
The Holy Trinity live in loving attentiveness to each other
but it is not a closed circle. They open out to us.
You are invited to come to the table, to share in that love,
to be part of God’s nature, God’s being, God’s loving.
This is what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.
All people are our sisters and brothers, all living beings,
all Creation: though we are many there is only One of us.
Join the communion of the One Who Is Many.
Come into the tender love of the Mother who births us,
the Lover who desires us, and the love begotten in us.
Find your being in the Holy One in whom we are One.
You are the fourth person of the Holy Trinity.
Come. (Steve Garnaas-Holmes, www.unfoldinglight.net)

Trinity
God says:
I set you on a life journey. I built the road but I did not give you a map.
There are gently rising hills as well as rough difficult rocks that you cannot
see beyond. There are crossroads, detours, roundabouts and at times you
may prefer to scuttle back to the safety of the predictable and known. You
don’t see me but you do see my creation and through that, occasionally glimpse my order, beauty in a seashell, a song, or a storm, and of course your purpose and ultimate justice.
Jesus says:
I go beside you but do not always nudge you when there is a choice to make,
a decision on the journey. I know the path. I have been a human sojourner,
know about relationships, the easy and the difficult. I have had to make choices.
Do not fear because I am beside you and understand your life, its joys and
its pains.
The Spirit whispers:
You barely see me, perhaps a glimpse at sunrise or like a bird hovering high
in an arc near the clouds. But I sweep across the sky and indicate the better
or best path to follow, though the voices in your head are constantly bickering
and confusing you. Watch out for dangerous paths. You will need to pause,
slow down, patiently listen, then look upward to discern me. I will keep
you safe to go ahead in your journey, to experience both challenges and abundanceof life far beyond your imagining.
(Source: Wendy Ratawa, Prayers that Unite, 2017)

Blessing
The love of the faithful Creator,
The peace of the wounded Healer,
The joy of the challenging Spirit,
The hope of the Three-in-One
surround and encourage us
today, tonight, and forever.
May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Healer,
and the Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.
(The Blessing of our Days, Iona Community)

A Relational Universe
If a rational Creator started this whole thing, then there has to be a “DNA connection,” as it were, between the One who creates and what is created. One of the many wonderful things that scientists are discovering as they compare their observations through microscopes with those through telescopes is that the pattern of the neutrons, protons, and electrons in atoms is similar to the pattern of planets, stars, and galaxies: both are in orbit around one another, and all appears to be in relationship to everything else. We now know the same is true in biology, as Robert Lanza’s work on biocentrism so brilliantly demonstrates: “the universe is created by life and not the other way around.” [1] Our word for that foundational life is Spirit, hovering like a brood hen over the formless void in the very first lines of the Bible (Genesis 1:1-2).
There is a similarity between the perceived two ends of the universe, the Creator and all the creatures, just as Christians should have expected. Genesis describes the creative plan: “Then God said: Let us create in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves” (Genesis 1:26). The Hebrew text daringly uses plural pronouns; and I suspect a Christian would say that the deep Jewish intuition was correct, which is again shown in Genesis 18 with the three visitors to Abraham, and perhaps in the book of Job (1:6) which seems to speak of a Divine Council that confers with itself.
The energy in the universe is not in the planets, nor in the atomic particles, but very surprisingly in the relationship between them. It’s not in the cells of organisms but in the way the cells feed and give feedback to one another through semi-permeable membranes. The energy is not in any precise definition or in the partly arbitrary names of the three persons of the Trinity as much as in the relationship between the Three! This is where all the power for infinite renewal is at work:
The loving relationship between them.
The infinite love between them.
The dance itself.
In other words, it is an entirely relational universe. If, at any time, we try to stop this flow moving through us, with us, and in us, we fall into the true state of sin—and it is truly a state more than a momentary behaviour. It is telling that the first destabilization of the foundational structure of the atom (in New Mexico in July 1945) created the atomic bomb. With supreme irony, the test site is still called “Trinity” as Robert Oppenheimer first named it.
The divine flow either flows both in and out, or it is not flowing at all. The “trap doors” at either end must be kept open in order to both receive and let go, which is the work of all true spirituality. The Law of Flow is simple, and Jesus states it in many formulations such as “Happy are the merciful; they shall have mercy shown to them” (Matthew 5:7). Or as we cleverly put it “What goes around comes around.” We are conduits.
References:
[1] See robertlanza.com/the-biocentric-universe-theory-life-creates-time-space-and-the-cosmos-itself/.
Adapted from Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 55-56, 71-72. thedivinedance.org.

Trinity as Evolutionary Principle: Trinity is a dynamic mandala of God’s ongoing creativity
Trinity and the Law of Three.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting—it has been found difficult and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton [1]
The key to reawakening the power of this primordial Christian symbol lies in shifting the Trinity away from an abstract theological speculation on the inner life of God and re-imagining it as a pattern in the very fabric of reality – a template that is coded into all of creation.
Post-Einsteinian physics demonstrates that life is not static, but dynamic. As our theological paradigm shifts away from a static universe to a universe in perpetual motion, the whole Trinitarian frame shifts with it. Like a key clicking into place, the Trinity reveals itself as a metaphysical code that unlocks theology and science and illustrates a fresh understanding of a creative and contemplative engagement in the world.
For the late theologian Beatrice Bruteau (1930-2014), the Trinity is first and foremost an image of relational unity. The three “God-persons in community,” as she sees it, comprise the prototype and the prerequisite for the expression of agape love – the energy of the Godhead itself. Bruteau builds a detailed case for why threefoldness is the necessary condition for agape love. She goes on to demonstrate why threefoldness is by nature “ecstatic” or, in other words, self-giving and generative. By its very threefoldness, it “breaks symmetry” (a term borrowed from quantum mechanics) and projects the agape love outward, calling new forms of being into existence, each of which bears the imprint of the original symbiotic unity that created it. “It is the presence of the Trinity as a pattern repeated at every scale of the cosmic order,” she believes, “that makes the universe a manifestation of God and itself sacred and holy.” [2]
My own contribution to this ongoing Trinitarian conversation takes up at the point that Bruteau’s leaves off. My goal has been to see whether it might be possible to anchor this necessary threefoldness in a deeper universal principle: the Law of Three.
Understood within the context of a universe in motion, and with the Law of Three as its template, the Trinity becomes a dynamic mandala of God’s ongoing creativity in an evolving universe. It becomes, in fact, the evolutionary principle. The Trinity as a symbol of relationship invites us to trust the relationality of nature itself and to reconsider what we understand about the very nature of love. It is no longer a pre-existent “property” of God, but an emergent property of the whole of creation, joined in that divine dance.
References:
[1] Gilbert K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1910), 48.
[2] Beatrice Bruteau, God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World (New York: Crossroad, 1997), 14.
Adapted from Cynthia Bourgeault, “Trinity: The Evolutionary Principle of Unfolding Creativity,” The Mendicant, Vol. 7 No. 1 (CAC: 2017), 1, 5.

Music

Noble, Yet Mystical Ground… (Tune: ‘Was Lebet’ 11 10 11 10D)
Noble, yet mystical, ground of creation,
star-fire and sun shower, and darkness and dreams;
all that through senses draws forth adoration,
God, we would worship, the love that redeems.

Human, yet awesome, the Christ, our relation,
offers a spirit: we learn to forgive.
Conquering our will this divine annexation
offers a way for us simply to live.

Spirit of living gives hope for our dying,
something transcending this life and its frame,
onward and upward in faith we are flying,
goal of existence, your love is our aim.
(Source: Andrew Pratt)

Where love writes the music
Where love writes the music,
the air is filled with song;
and those who hear the love-beat
are called to sing along.
The Father, Son and Spirit are doing what they do.
Let’s resonate, participate,
until we’re singing too.

Where love sets the dance-steps,
a movement’s taking birth:
a joining hands together
of heaven and the earth.
The Father, Son and Spirit are doing what they do.
Let’s resonate, participate,
until we’re dancing too.

Where love starts the rhythm,
it echoes through the land;
inviting all the people
to come and join the band.
The Father, Son and Spirit are doing what they do.
Let’s resonate, participate,
until we’re playing too.

Melody line: Where_love_writes_the_music.
Copyright © 2016 Katherine Abetz and Heather Prowse

 

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.

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