26th May – Andrea’s Letter: Trinity Sunday

26th May 2024

Trinity Sunday 2024 St Andrew’s Milngavie

Today we celebrated the feast of The Holy Trinity, otherwise known as Trinity Sunday which marks the beginning of Ordinary Time in church’s calendar.

Harry has very kindly offered to produce a monthly church newsletter. Any contributions to the publication will be warmly received – stories, pictures, articles, anything of interest, please send to me and I can forward them to Harry.

This Week
Tuesday 10am – Prayer Group in the Garden Room.
Thursday 10am – Said Holy Communion followed by coffee in Friendship House
Saturday 10am – 4pm Flower and Music festival in Church.  Music provided by students from the Haydock School of music.  Friendship House open for teas etc.  Donations to Water Aid

Readings for next Sunday – 1st Sunday after Trinity   Deuteronomy 5:12-15   2 Corinthians 4:5-12     Mark 2:23-3:6

Today’s readings – Isaiah 6:1-8,  Romans 8:12-17,  John 3:1-17

This Sunday – Trinity Sunday is the day when we celebrate the relationship between the Father Son and Holy spirit. It’s a chance to reflect on the mystery of this special relationship, the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

A good place to start is the bible. In the Old Testament the focus is mainly on God the Creator, and we read about the building up of his relationship with his people. We only get the merest hints about the Son and the Spirit.

In the New Testament we discover that the God who made the world was so concerned for us as a people that he wanted tangibly to be part of us. So sent his Son to be born as a human, to share in our earthly life. So, God the Creator also became God the Father.

We also learn in the New Testament that, in Jesus, God was prepared to die for us. A death that was not an end but a beginning.  A doorway to eternal life for all of us. God the Son is also God the Redeemer.

Pentecost or Whitsun which was celebrated last week reveals yet another aspect of God’s character, another dimension to his love. At Pentecost God shared that love with us by sending his spirit upon the apostles and all his people in a way that enables us to communicate with him and be empowered by him, meaning that we will never be abandoned. God will never leave us as Christ promised to his disciples before he ascended.
“I will send the advocate to you …………..When the spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all truth…”  John 16:13
God the Holy Spirit is also God the Sustainer. So, we have God the Father, God the Redeemer and God the Sustainer -The Holy Trinity

But like all good relationships if we want them to thrive, we must play an active part.  This involves seeking the spirit’s guidance in our everyday lives, embracing the scriptures and nurturing our faith through prayer and relationship.

And there is more…..there will be a time, a future time,  when all the mystery of The Trinity  will make sense. A concept so well expressed by St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”   1 Corinthians 13

But for now, in our earthly existence, we must live with mystery, uncertainty and doubt. There are times when we feel we live in the dark or half-light, both emotionally and spiritually. In the gospel this morning we are told Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night.”

St. John is using night in a particular way.  Night in John’s gospel is a symbol of uncertainty and confusion. We see it throughout his gospel. “ Night” is that time, Jesus says, just before the raising of Lazarus. “when we stumble because there is no light in us and we just can’t see the way forward” (Jn. 11:10).

At the passion Judas got up and left the table,  “and it was night” (Jn.13:30).

In John 21 Simon Peter says “I am going to fish……… They went out and got into the boat but that night they caught nothing.” Night describes those times we fish all night but catch nothing (Jn. 21:3). Our efforts prove fruitless, and our nets remain empty.

Coming to Jesus by night therefore is not a statement about the time, Nicodemus’ motive, or his faith.  But rather it describes a state of mind. And so, Nicodemus comes to Jesus, nervously and carefully feeling his way.

But it’s confusing what Jesus is saying – being born twice! How can we be reborn? But Jesus says this kind of rebirth can only come from above……..of the spirit. But Nicodemis isn’t sure, “How can these things be?”  he asks.

A question we may well ask ourselves. But Jesus continues to speak in heavenly and mystical tones.

“The wind blows where it choices, and you hear the sound of it, But you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the spirit.”

Ultimately, Jesus asks us to step beyond our doubt and confusion into the mystery of faith. In this story of Nicodemus, we are invited to do just that as we hear those wonderful words which might transcend our understanding but are guaranteed to bring light to our darkness.“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, So that everyone who believes in him may not perish But may have eternal life.”  John 3:16