Black lives matter.
What to write about Trinity Sunday in the light of protests, civil unrest, threats instead of appeals, blackout Tuesday as I write? I have been following the lectionary readings, more precisely one of them. Today I refer to one verse from the Old Testament reading and one from Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians. My purpose is to link what is going on in the world to what is usually seen as a rather abstruse doctrine.
‘Let us make human beings in our image’. From the first Creation story found in Genesis ch.1. Then what is now known as ‘the grace’ which we say to each other at the end of our services at KSBC. ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.’ 2 Corinthians ch 13 v. 14.
For those who believe in God as creator the logic is simple. God created human beings in all their diversity, all of them, all in ‘the image’ of Godself, all, everyone, all without exception, all in ‘the image’. From this we have phrases like ‘the human family’ a sense of feeling-feeling, empathy. A sense of outrage at a casual kneeling on a fellow human being’s neck.
‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The whole lockdown we have been enduring has been based on the premise that what we do, or do not do, affects the well-being and health of society as a whole. In its own way it is a recognition of the image of God in each other. A recognition of worth and value that has been underlying the efforts to treat and ‘save’ those infected by Covid19.
Which brings us to ‘the grace’. We focus on ‘the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’. This speaks about community -linked to communion which we see as ‘cross-shaped’. There is the link to God in Trinity with the upright, whilst the crossbeam reminds us both of the outstretched arms of love, and that we look around seeing our fellow believers. As the hymn says, ‘look people warmly in the eye, our life is meant for caring’. If we really think about it this sharing of ‘the grace’ on a Sunday in a small group is but a practice, a rehearsal for the way we see and interact with the people we meet during the week.
Theologians tell us that there is community within the Godhead, an interaction of love, relationships. That is something for us to take on trust, but if that is how it is for God, then as creatures it sets the pattern for us. However pale our skin, surely as Christians we can join with so many fellow humans in affirming ‘Black lives matter.’
Holy Trinity, forever one,
whose nature is community;
source of all sharing,
in whom we love, and meet, and know our neighbour:
life in all its fullness, making all things new –
we praise and adore you.
Holy, holy, holy – let angels cry
who see and know you face to face.
Blessed are you, Maker of all from nothing.
Blessed are you, Saviour of all from sin.
Blessed are you, Spirit of all,
in all, and through all.
Blessed are you,
God alone, yet God in community.
Bless, O God, your Church on earth
with the harmony and diversity of heaven,
that we may be one, as you are one.