Sadly today we will not have a service in our group of parishes as directed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and York and all the churches are closed. We hope that they open soon. Each week we will have a short sermon and some prayers and readings. If you want to chat on the telephone please do. 01760 627039. I will help in way. Also you may email me :- firstname.lastname@example.org even if you wish to debate my sermon or chat about anything.
Today there will be another Zoom meeting with the choir at 3.30pm.
We will await directions regarding the re-opening of churches and I will let you know as soon as possible. The Government has suggested this may be possible at the beginning of July. The Diocese has given guidance to the clergy and churchwardens regarding future services, but more guidance will follow.
An expected caller
Today my wife and I have a special visitor coming to see us at 12 noon. As with a mystery novel I shall not give away who this person is until later in this homily.
We both agreed that we could meet in our garden, if the weather allows, 2 metre distancing will be important and I have been asked to provide my own Bible and a fountain pen and he will bring along a legal document with a seal on it. He had hoped to do this signing by telephone or Zoom, but he was told by a Norwich solicitor that it would not be legal!
In the garden I will make a Declaration of Assent and two Oaths of Allegiance one to the Queen and the other to my boss. I will make these statements with a Bible in my hand and then sign the document making me Priest in Charge of the Wayland Group until this virus is over. Who is the visitor? – I am sure that you have already guessed – it is the Bishop of Lynn.
The new appointment was necessary because my present appointment came to an end on 7th June and the Bishop wanted a steady pair of hands to lead you all in the uncertain days that will follow in the wake of the pandemic. In my mind the day could not have been better because it is Trinity Sunday when we acknowledge that God is in three persons –Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The meeting will end with the Bishop giving his episcopal blessing – ‘In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’.
During any service whether it is Holy Communion, a Baptism or a Wedding and also a Funeral, we use the Trinity at many times. The doctrine of the Trinity is very much part of the life the church and all the major denominations see the Trinity as very central to what we believe. God is united in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
St Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians outlined so much of the doctrine of the church. Central to this is the belief in the Trinity. Much later in the 16th century Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, created the Book of Common Prayer which was published in 1549. Central to this book is the doctrine of the Trinity and so this year we have Sundays after Trinity until 25th October.
Not only did Cranmer see the doctrine of the Trinity as central to our faith but he made sure that his lazy, often vacant from their livings and, at times drunken, clergy should at least preach once a year in their parishes’ churches on the central belief of the Christian Church – The Trinity.
Now I am a very simple person and I would explain the Trinity as a person who loves flowers and gardens. You will often see people arranging flowers in church in a triangular design and often flowers will be placed in these displays in 3’s because it actually looks right.
Go into your garden border and you will find that if you plant 3 plants together they will grow better and look better. The number ‘3’ just seems right. In life there are so many 3’s – Faith Hope and love, Mind Body and Spirit and I could go on. So ‘3’ is a special number, but for me, the power of the Trinity is that each part of it is equal. ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ are all equal and we can pray to any one person in that Trinity and prayers will be effective.
The Trinity is an immense power and at many times of my life I have blessed a person or couple, blessed a house or signed the cross on a dying person in the name of the Trinity. The Trinity is very powerful and yet so wonderful. I conclude with the oldest collection in the Book of Common Prayer written for Trinity Sunday by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.
Almighty and everlasting God, which hast given unto us thy servant’s grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the divine Majesty to worship the Unity: we beseech thee, that through the steadfastness of this faith, we may evermore be defended from all adversity, which livest and reignest one God, world without end.
In the days we live this prayer is still very powerful.