GREAT WORSHIP THIS MORNING, Trinity Sunday. Our parish church, it seems to me, is developing an ever deepening vocation to openness and inclusivity, to a bright vision of a world where men, women and children live in the embrace of “the Peace of God that passeth all understanding.” And nobody gives the impression of smugness. Nobody gives the impression that they think the fulfilment of such a vision is going to be easy (we’re all very familiar with the image of the crucified Jesus, and with images of Holocaust, and genocide, and – most recently – burned cathedral and churches in Sudan).
Nobody feels entirely equipped either, whether individually or corporately. Many of us, and especially me, would think of ourselves as theological or religious or political “lightweights”, glad to recall that Jesus spoke of fondness for the simple and for the meek. And again, many of us feel called more to stillness, silence, prayer and contemplation than to the more readily obvious or demonstrable agitating or “action”. But the truth is that, week by week, there’s a vision taking shape … and the vision involves the glory of the Lord Creator filling heaven, earth with its glory stored. And there’s a fountain welling up within us, a fountain of desire to sing: “Unto Thee be glory given. Holy, holy, holy Lord.”
And the glory of God is there to be seen in every part and detail of his Creation, every day of our lives. The glory of God is to be seen in children, women and men of every faith tradition under the sun, and in those who would lay no claim to having a particular faith tradition. The glory of God is to be seen in sun and sea and moon and sky, and in Creation’s daily asking “Why?”.
In the metaphor of “Trinitarian” faith – our human attempt at imagining, at putting into words, how relationship or communion works within the Godhead – we can recognise the Father showing the Son who he is, and the Son showing the Spirit who she is, and the Spirit showing the Father who he is, and the Divine embracing all created things and showing that Creation who it is. Matter alive with the Spirit, the breath of God – so that there’s absolutely no avoiding that if “my matter” matters then all matter matters. And we’re all “the Body of Christ” in the sense that we’re all a body anointed – with the Divine breath of life.
And when matter matters vocations start to spring up from the dark earth. Vision reaches towards light. Communities seek to create communion, to “repent”, to turn around and look at life and Creation in new ways. Communities start to pray that life in this world may be “put right”.
Paul Deakin has been charting his vocational journey. Rachael Elizabeth has, too. But – gloriously – they’re not alone. There’s a “bright vision” in the hearts and lives of churchwardens, too. And of church council members, and of children’s workers, youth leaders, study groups, prayer groups, growth action strategy and daily, quiet pray-ers.
Many years ago when co-leading a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land I was struck, as were many in the party, by frequent repetition of Psalm 122 whilst we were there: “O pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.” And – mindful of a translation of “Jerusalem” as “Vision of Peace” – 60 or more people got into the daily praying of these words:
O pray for the peace of the Vision of Peace.
They shall prosper that love thee.
Something of that prayer and something of that vision was present in our Trinitarian worship this morning, and for more than a few of us it rang true that that kind of worship is “the party where God is, and always was, and always will be.” Pray for the peace of the Vision of Peace. Let the Vision rise brighter. The Lord God has placed the key into our own hands.