Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trinity Sunday

A sermon preached on Trinity Sunday in Church of the Resurrection Blarney on Sunday 26th May 2013

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be now and always acceptable in thy sight O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen
Today is a day when we celebrate God … who he is in all his fullness …
Celebrating Father, Son and Spirit and the relationship between the three  and in celebrating …
We remember
  • The work of the Father in Creation,
  • the work of the son in our redemption which he has won for us and the
  • work of the Holy Spirit in our sustaining us in our lives today .
We celebrate also the dynamics which exist between them and the love which is at the very centre of the relationship between the three parts which overflows into creation.
In our readings today we see this work between the three is a work of love … it is dynamic and it flows out to the world
The father loves the son and the same love he has for the son is the love with which he loves the world.  And we (as people in the world ) are called to respond to that love with which he created the world and he created us.
The Epistle Reading
Romans 5: 1-5
By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace  with God. Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. But that’s not all! We gladly suffer] because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love.

Paul writing to the Romans…  we see that it is by faith we have been made acceptable to God … by faith we have the peace with God … its then we able to live at peace with God.
Those 2 words … at the beginning … BY FAITH  … For so many that step is difficult … we have questions, we have doubts, they put up all sorts of arguments  but there comes a time when the challenge has to be made.  
We see also that Christ has introduced us to the Father’s undeserved kindness on which Paul says the church takes its(our) stand – I wonder do we understand God’s amazing Glory.
But with all of this, and this is where we sometimes get things wrong …we sometime think that all will be rosy but we see that Paul is grounded … this life is one in which there will be suffering and difficulties. But this is where the Holy Spirit, the Sustainer, the advocate and the teacher comes in who as he describes will fill our hearts with his love.
In our Gospel reading today we see the dynamics which exist in the relationship once again is unique and upon which the gospel absolutely depends
12 I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.13 The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. 14 The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you.15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.

Let’s Trace it again
All that the father has is mine -  Jesus  says
Jesus proclaims that message
the Spirit takes Jesus’ message and tells it to you
Like we saw in the Romans Reading …  we see that the spirit is revealing the truth to the world … That Truth, as we trace it through John’s Gospel is the love of the father for creation and the relationship the father wants his creation to respond to the love that is shown
We see it in John 3:16 the well known verse
God so loved the world that he sent his son
We see that he also loves his son … 3:35

  • The Dynamic of the father is always outwards love flowing to the son and to the world
  • The Dynamic of the son again is always outward love flowing to the world and to the father
  • The Spirit’s love is filling our hearts with the love of the father and the son

No other philosophy … or religion apart Christianity … proclaims this truth of the relationship in God at the heart  this is love, and grace together   …
During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities.
Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods' appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death.
The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. "What's the rumpus about?" he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity's unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, "Oh, that's easy. It's grace."
After some discussion, those in the room had to agree. The notion of God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity.
The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and the Muslim code of law -- each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God's love unconditional.
Undeserved Kindness … Made possible through the relationship of the trinity … we can’t work our way, talk our way only by faith through grace.

  • Thank God for the trinity
  • Have a think about the freedom this gives
  • The great news of relationship this is possible  
When we grasp this … and it does make sense … it’s a relationship right before the beginning of the world and will sustain the world beyond the grave.

This is why the church does what it does
This is why we invest in kingdom things so that the world may know the love of God

So to recap
Trinity is essential … the relationship … equal and eternal
Its unique …none other speaks of grace made possible through the relationship
It’s the heart of message we proclaim to the world

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blogging Resumed

I was reminded this morning about my Blog ... I have certainly mangaged to neglect it since Easter (not unusual on this Blog) ... perhaps its been the pace of life, the many and various things which have been happening and the other things which take time away from sitting down and taking time to put thoughts together.

So with a cuppa coffee in a coffee shop with wifi ... what's been happening since Easter Sunday in this wee corner of Ireland ?...

Well, looking back at previous pages in the diary ...

... It was great to be back up in St. Coumba's for K McA's Wedding ... a wonderful event such a relaxed day and great to see so many friends gathered around and helping out in all sorts of ways at that event :-)

... We've been trying "Normalise Prayer" (a phrase which I was very struck by just before easter ... for me this means simply putting prayer into everything that we do as Christians)

... We held a prayer team training event with resources from New Wine Ireland for a team from the parish and others from various local churches in preparation for the New Wine weekend with John Hughes. This was a great time of teaching, fellowship and worship in Blarney Church.

... Lighthouse (Messy Church) has continued to go from Strength to Strength ... with the introduction of T-Shirts for the team, Puppet Ministry and new activities

... A week off spent in Rome and England It was great to catch up with Family :-)

... It has been great to spend time with friends who visited and catch up with them

Over the course of the next while again there are lots of things to do  ...

... Preparation for things in the Summer ... Holiday Club, New Wine in Sligo, Photo Festival, Prayer garden (More on that in a later Blog)

... Pastoral visits around the Village of Blarney

... Keeping going with whats happening

... finalising our new website