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Sunday 7th June 2020- Trinity Sunday

posted 4 Jun 2020, 08:48 by Church Office   [ updated 8 Jun 2020, 13:10 by CHS Info ]
 
 

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Sunday 7th June 2020

Trinity Sunday

 Today is Trinity Sunday. The day when we reflect on the nature of God and so on the nature of humanity.   Our first reading is the story of God’s creation.  It tells us that we are made in God’s image; and that image is an image of relationship: made together, male and female, made to mirror God’s relationship of Father, Son & Spirit.  We were made by community to be in community.  In this reading heaven and earth are united.  Our gospel reading is another creation story of sorts: in this passage the Spirit of God which brought creation out of chaos is given to us.  We are sent by the risen Christ to reunite heaven and earth, to draw the whole world back into community to be in relationship with God and with one another.

Pram Service (8am) today’s pram service looks at the story of creation.  We explore how we are made in the image of God and we think about how we too can be creative. Head over to the Children and Youth tab to see this week’s service.

Sunday School (9:30am) This week it is Trinity Sunday… can you find a clover leaf somewhere on Clapham Common or in your garden. Now let’s make it harder can you find a three leafed clover, not a four leafed clover but a THREE LEAFED CLOVER. Maybe we will find out about the man who told everyone about a three leafed clover. You’ll need to bring colouring pencils and paper, especially green and blue colours. Join us here: https://zoom.us/j/578055716, you’ll need the password which can be found in our newsletter. To subscribe please go to our homepage to subscribe.

Readings

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9 And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it." And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20 And God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky." 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." 29 God said, "See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the beginning: the story of God’s creation reminds us that we are made in God’s image; and that image is an image of relation-ship: made together, male and female, made to mirror God’s relationship of Father, Son & Spirit. We were made by community to be in community.

 

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

In the power of God’s spirit, the spirit which moved over the earth in creation, we are sent out by the risen Christ to draw the whole world back into community: into relationship with God and one an-other.

Sermon

 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

We always gather together for worship on the first day of the week: it is supposed to represent for us the gift of a new beginning.

It doesn’t feel much like a new beginning and it certainly doesn’t feel very good.

The mess we have made of creation, of community, of relationship. 

We may long for a new beginning, yet we know that we must live with the mess that we have made.  But then again mess is always the thing the newness comes from; even the very first beginning started with “darkness and a formless void”.

In that mythical first ever new beginning God said “let us make humankind in our own image”.  “Let us (note that it’s plural) make humankind (again plural) in our own image male and female God created them.”

We were created as a plural by a plural.  Today is Trinity Sunday the day we celebrate that God is not some monolithic lonely deity but something that is always and by its very nature in relationship with others.  

And on this day, we hear again the story of our beginning – in relationship.

We begin not as one but as many. 

We begin not the same but different.

But God created humankind, male and female God created them – different God created them.  We are not meant to be the same – but we are meant to be together.

God created us and everything but joining together things that were different: the heavens and the earth, plants and animals, male and female, human and divine.

Maybe there is hope in that.

The icon most often used to represent the Trinity is Rublev’s icon.  Showing the three persons of the Trinity in conversation.  There is a movement in the icon – the eyes and hands draw our eye around the circle. But the circle is not complete.  There is a gap. The gap is the invitation for you to enter and join the circle.

Our icon, the icon of the feast of Pentecost is also full of circles:

They are even more incomplete:

There is a half-circle right up here at the top – just about making it onto the icon: this represents heaven, the life of the divine. 

This half circle right down here at the bottom represents the earth, the world.

Most of the icon is taken up with a larger semicircle – the church, the people of God, the body of Christ.  The job of this lot is to join together the two semicircles -the blue one at the top and the black one at the bottom to make the circle whole. Then the heaven and earth, human and divine are once again united, complete.

But it is never complete until everyone’s in it. 

Living in this space in the middle is uncomfortable.  Living with the circle radically open makes us anxious: anyone can join, anyone can walk in, anyone.  And that is a threat, a challenge, it opens us to change.  Frequently churches deal with this by pretending that the circle is complete when it really isn’t. 

In our gospel Jesus gives us the task of completing the circle. 

This week, following the protests at the death of George Floyd, following the publication of the report into the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on our black and ethnic minority communities here, I have some hard conversations.  Conversations that have challenged me, unsettled me, made me feel uncomfortable. Conversations that have again made me acutely aware of how incomplete the circle is. 

God made us to be together but not the same.  God made us different.  We cannot be together unless we acknowledge recognise value and make space for those differences.  We cannot open a space that fits us and assume it will fit everyone.  Race makes a difference, gender makes a difference, sexuality makes a difference, class makes a difference. 

We can’t just open our doors carry on as usual and hope that a new creation will happen all on its own.

That’s where the being sent part comes in. 

This is a huge and daunting task. 

But it begins, as all tasks do, with a single step. 

Ai Wei wei says that one small action is worth a million words. 

I can talk, we can talk, about racial justice in church until the cows come home – but it is when we leave church that is important. 

One small action: talk to your black neighbours, friends, relatives, colleagues about how they are feeling.  

Just talk, be brave, start the conversation – open up the circle.

Prayers

God of delight,
your Wisdom sings your Word
at the crossroads where humanity and divinity meet.
Invite us into your joyful being
where you know and are known
in each beginning,
in all sustenance,
in every redemption,
that we may manifest your unity
in the diverse ministries you entrust to us,
truly reflecting your triune majesty
in the faith that acts,
in the hope that does not disappoint,
and in the love that endures. Amen.

Prayers of Intercessions

We come boldly to the throne of grace, praying to the almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for mercy and grace.

You told your disciples, to go out and teach all nations your words,

that all are equal before God, and that love, justice and compassion are the way forward.

 Help us all to obey all that you have commanded.

Lord in your mercy     

Hear our prayer

 

Father of heaven, whose love profound

a ransom for our souls has found:

We pray for the world, created by your love,

for its nations and governments, that they may change and take the action you would wish.

You have shown that love for the poor, the sick and the distressed, is the way ahead.

You have shown that Black Lives Matter- Let all leaders hear your word.. …

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Almighty Son, incarnate Word,

our Prophet, Priest, Redeemer, Lord:

We pray for the Church, created for your glory,

for its ministry to be loud and spread the overwhelming message that love and unity

Is the only way forward . …

Extend to us your salvation, growth, mercy and grace.

Lord in your mercy  

Hear our prayer

 

Eternal Spirit, by whose breath, the soul is raised from sin and death:

We pray for families and individuals, created in your image,

for the oppressed, the bereaved, the lonely, the sick and the dying …

Breathe on them the breath of life and bring them to your mercy and grace.

Lord in your mercy

Hear our prayer

 

Thrice holy! Father, Spirit, Son,

Mysterious Godhead, Three in One:

Bring us all to bow before your throne in heaven,

to receive life and pardon, mercy and grace for all eternity,

as we worship you, saying, together:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest

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Church Office,
4 Jun 2020, 08:48
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Church Office,
6 Jun 2020, 02:39