Three into One
It is a very sobering thought that last week, the number of deaths in the UK from Covid 19 has now passed 40,000. The combined population of Aspley, Bilborough and Wollaton, the area which our parishes serve is just over 60,000. Looking at the figure of 40,000 deaths in that light is quite alarming. Of course statistically speaking, the comparison is not perhaps a helpful one, but what it does do is to focus our minds on the reality that every death is a real tragedy for the families involved, and we should pray and keep in our thoughts all who are suffering and trying to come to terms with the loss they have suffered. We are only too aware how easily this number can quickly become a statistic on a page and the lives of people they refer to overlooked. As we celebrate Trinity Sunday, how does our faith help us to cope?
I think the only way that we can do this is by understanding the Trinity not as some sort of statistical mystery which remains unfathomable to us, but by listening to the words and teaching of Jesus and seeing that by his life and death and resurrection, the reality of the Trinity unfolds for each one of us as a living out of a relationship of love. A love that connects us to each other. A love that reaches out to each other. A love that is experienced through each other. The Gospel of John speaks about the relationship of Jesus with his Father in ways which define this love. Right from the beginning of the gospel in the Prologue, we are told that the love between Father and Son is characterised by fulness. It is a concept which the evangelist will use on several occasions to express how through this fulness, we too are brought into this relationship. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son… is one of the most telling and illuminating sentences in the New Testament, because it opens up the essential heart of the Trinity as pure gift to humanity. Nothing will be withheld or withdrawn. Nothing will remain secret or hidden. Nothing will be excluded or denied. Of his fulness we have received one gift replacing another… grace and truth come through Jesus Christ. This love is constant, replete and without end, because as Jesus told the disciples, the Father will send the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is this love. A love which is poured out in its fulness, upon us all, animating and enabling us to share all the relational love that flows between Father, Son and Spirit in the Trinity, and which is now made manifest through Christ’s Body the Church, of which we are the active members. No-one is therefore overlooked or ignored. No-one remains lost or forgotten. No-one is orphaned or abandoned. No-one, in other words, is a mere statistic.
So let us pray on this Trinity Sunday for all those who have died as a result of the virus. Let us commend them to the God, who in the fulness of time, brings them to himself. Let us pray for the families who grieve and let us remember the love that was, and continues to be outpoured, as the example par excellence of the Trinity living and moving in this place.