I am humbled in new ways this year by the connections between the feasts of the Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity. It's all mind blowing. The Christian word is mystery - something that is unfathomable that we cannot plumb the depths of and will continue to discover throughout all of eternity.
Two weeks ago, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension. Fr. Dean alerted us to a number of critical realities (see here to refresh your memory). Jesus ascended and is seated at the right hand of the Father, enfleshed. By that very fact, he is interceding for us. He is enthroned in heaven - fully God and fully human!
While Jesus was still with his disciples, he told them he would leave (ascend) and that the Father would send the Holy Spirit. John 14:18-17 records that for us:
I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! (The Message)
This past Sunday, we celebrated the provision of that Friend with the Feast of Pentecost. It is because Jesus died and rose again that we are washed clean. It is because Jesus ascended into heaven, made us holy, and requested that the Father send the Holy Spirit that we are now the Holy Place in which God lives. The temple is no longer a building, it's us!! The Holy Spirit dwells within us. (See 1 Cor. 3, Heb 9)
And now we come to the Feast of the Trinity. This is a feast day that helps us recognize a doctrinal truth - our God is three-in-one. The Ascension and Pentecost prepare us by illuminating some of the interaction between the three. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in communion and are drawing us into communion with God and one another.
All of this can seem abstract and unreal as we live our day-to-day lives. However, this is the most real reality there is. It's so close it's almost impossible to see. It encompasses everything - our relationship to God, to others, to the rest of creation - everything.
On Sunday, Fr. Cal will help us get a bit more of a glimpse into the mystery of the Triune God. He might even venture into how the reality of the Trinity impacts prayer. You can prepare by accessing Sunday's lessons and prayers ahead of the service (find them here).
Grace and peace,