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Trinity Sunday sermon

Fr Tim Schenck has done rigorous research by getting ideas from all his facebook friends and combining these into the model sermon for Trinity Sunday. He notes, “that the key to good preaching on Trinity Sunday is linguistic sleight of hand. If you distract the congregation enough with props they won’t pay attention to the heresy you’re undoubtedly spewing. This lowers the potential of being reported to the bishop.”

It is likely that on Sunday you heard (or yourself said) some variant on:

Trinity Sunday Sermon

“The New Paradigm of Homoousious”

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (And I really mean it this time).

The Trinity [three intertwined circles appear on a giant projection screen]. It’s a confusing topic; one that I am not qualified to speak about because I failed the systematic theology portion of the General Ordination Exam. [Three circles morph into a green three-leaf clover] St. Patrick converted the King of Ireland to the Christian faith by using the clover [use awkward hand gesture to point to the screen]. As he held up the clover he enumerated (or is that renumerated?) about the Trinity telling the king that…[choir sings St. Patrick's Breastplate to drown out the next few phrases. Twelve minutes later when the hymn ends and everyone has processed around the church nine times, the preacher continues].

The interplay between the Persons of the Trinity is like a dance. But not just any dance — a perichoretic dance of love. I once danced this way at a wedding of a good friend. My date left with a groomsman while I was doing my interpretive dance of the Trinity. It was at that moment that I decided to go to seminary.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, the interpenetration of modality. Which sounds vaguely obscene until you remember that God loves you. Like a fox. But in a co-eternal, co-equal, co-habitating kind of way.

Did I mention I used to be a horrible acolyte back in the day? [After laughing at his own joke, preacher picks up three tapers and attempts to bring them together and then pull them apart. Unfortunately he lights the pulpit hanging on fire and puts them out with the three glasses of water he brought up to supplement the fire illustration in case it fell flat. He recovers by singing an a capella version of "Holy, Holy, Holy," dramatically miming the line "Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea."]

In sum, we are all called to a hermeneutic of being immortal and invisible while still being led by faith and not by sight. Let me end by quoting from the well-loved Athanasian Creed; so beloved in church lore that it’s relegated to page 846 of the Book of Common Prayer. In the “Historical Documents” section that you may have covertly perused earlier in the sermon. “Blah, blah, blah Unity, blah, blah, blah Godhead, blah, blah, blah Essence.”

Amen.

More from Fr Tim here including possibly the world’s first Trinitarian rap.

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4 Responses to Trinity Sunday sermon

  1. Excellent sermon! Does Fr Tim do talks on British politics?

  2. Gary Sturni says:

    I also talked about perichoresis, but if only I had read this first! How …innovative! Bravo!

  3. Tim West says:

    As one Fr. Tim to another, I salute you, O Great Name-Bearer! The picture at the beginning was a little frightening; clergy crawling out of a computer and coming toward me…an old nightmare from my youth, but I digress. If I’d only seen this in time, all those awkward silences could have been avoided. I repent in dust and ashes.

    • Bosco Peters says:

      Just in case there’s any confusion, Fr Tim, if you want to salute Fr Tim you will need to click through to his site which I give twice in the quoting of his sermon.

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