Monday, June 05, 2006

Trinity Sunday

Since my old church was actually called Trinity, I had several options open to me each year when Trinity Sunday rolled around. If I did not feel a brilliant, insightful, witty-yet-profound sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity coming on, I could pull back and make the Sunday about our Trinity. I could preach a sort of "state of the congregation" sermon, or--as I did a couple of years back--speak very little myself and invite members of the congregation to give testimony about how Trinity Church had shaped their lives and faith.

Now that I'm at Academic Suburb Church, the latter two options have evaporated like dew in the 100 degree plus heat we've been having here in SoCal the past few days. What to do? A brilliant, insightful, witty-yet-profound sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity has actually never happend for me. Tediously academic and heady, yes. Fairly insipid and lamely invoking shamrocks, yes. But anything actually edifying for the folks out there in the pews? I don't think I've hit that note yet.

What about you? Do you do THE TRINITY or do you go with your upcoming VBS theme and hope no one notices??

11 comments:

Songbird said...

Couldn't you just sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and call it good? What is the theme of VBS?

SpookyRach said...

Ha hahaha! You and Songbird both cracked me up!

Do something with eggs.

cheesehead said...

It's bad enough that we had to talk about people's hair catching on fire last week, now we have to pull the Trinity out of our keisters?

I will not ever, EVER try the "The Trinity is like water, steam and ice" trick. If you hear that I have, please come come steal my robe from me.

St. Casserole said...

I don't know what I'm going to do yet.

Urghhhhhhhh

Gord said...

WEll we own a shamrock plant that still lives so I may pull a St. Patrick for children's story...

Other than that I just don't know. How do you try to define waht is supposed to be a mystery?

Quotidian Grace said...

I'm with Songbird. Just sing Holy, Holy Holy and call it a day.

Our VBS theme is Treasure Island. You can borrow that if you like and give a sermon on seeking the Trinity Treasure. How abut this? God is the pirate who hid the Son which is the treasure and the Holy Ghost is the parrot on the shoulder of God who gives out the clues.

Now you know why I'm not a minister! Good luck.

will smama said...

My candidating sermon (the one you do at a different church in the same area of the church you are in serious conversations with) was on the Trinity. I went with lectionary and that is where it hit. I got the job so I guess it went well but what stands out in my mind is that I had a children's sermon all ready and when it came time for it out from a side door came nursery schoolers (I had been expecting grade schoolers).

I did the best I could and then told them if they had any questions they should ask their own pastor.

No Trinity this year - we are having outdoor worship.

Our VBS is also Treasure Island.

Rev Dave said...

It's a challenge all right. This year I'm doing something a little different. We're doing our first puplit swap with the closest Presbyterian church, 45 miles away in the county seat. Pastor there comes here and I go there. I've warned her that my people better not be spouting heresy when I check up with how things went. I'm really tempted to tell her people to tell her that I taught them to say "there was when he was not" as the main point of my sermon.

Here's the opening joke from last year's Trinity Sunday sermon:

Jesus said, Who do men say that I am?

And his disciples answered and said, Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or other of the old prophets.

And Jesus answered and said, But whom do you say that I am?
Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being coequal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with and interpenetrating every other member, with only an economic subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no longer simple."

And Jesus answering, said, "What?"

cheesehead said...

will smama, I can top that! My first regular sermon at St Stoic, on the morning that I was being ordained (later that day) was Trinity Sunday '04. Not only was it Trinity Sunday, but I had fifteen non-liturgical-calendar- following family members in attendance, plus one of my best seminary pals, who was preaching for me later that day. Nobody knew what the crap I was talking about--including me!

Mata H said...

Well, seriously, I say go with what scares you. The Trinity isn't so hard, it is just mysterious...what a fine sermon you could give on diving into the mysteries of faith. Some of the most inspiring sermons I have ever heard were about surrender to what we do not understand with precision, but that we absolutely trust in faith.

I heard a story once about a missionary whose building was defaced with grafitti that said "This man believs 1+1+1=1". He wrote beneath it: "No, this man knows that 1x1x1=1"

SingingOwl said...

This was both a hilarious and interesting discussion. Thanks...

Goes off chuckling at Rev. Dave...