Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revealing Trinity

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 -- Week of 3 Easter
Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 961)
Psalms 38 (morning)       119:25-48 (evening)
Exodus 19:16-25
Colossians 1:15-23
Matthew 3:13-17

The hymn that we read today in Colossians expresses some of the spirit of our understanding of God as Trinity. 

Within God is relationship.  God pours out the divine life and love, speaking "Let there be...," and God's Word goes forth as the firstborn of all creation through whom all things are created and hold together.  In Jesus is the Word made flesh, fully assuming our human life to reconcile us by revealing our union with God through himself.  He is the face of God in a human life, the image of the invisible God for all humanity.  We see in him our essential union with God.  He reveals our essential being as God's beloved, for from the beginning God created us in the image of God.  "Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross."  In Christ's passion, God embraces all that has been in rebellion to God -- our ignorance, our violence, our estrangement, our sin and our death.  God makes peace by accepting our evil and returning only love, thus creating new life -- resurrection.

All of this happens within the energy of God's Holy Spirit, which we see manifested upon Jesus in the story his baptism in today's reading from Matthew.  John's baptism was a baptism of repentance.  John spoke to Jews who had so lost their sense of identity that they felt called to undergo the ritual cleansing of baptism, a process previously reserved for non-Jews who were converting to Judaism.  These Jews sensed that they had lost their original identity as "a priestly kingdom and a holy nation," as we read in Exodus yesterday.  They listened to John, who convicted them of their alienation from their original identity, and John baptized them back into the people they were called to be.  In baptism they were forgiven and regenerated into their true identity as "a priestly kingdom and a holy nation."

Jesus embraces John's baptism, entering into the people's identification of their alienation, sin and lostness.  As Jesus pours himself into the water, the Spirit of God descends upon him like a dove, and a voice from heaven says, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."  Jesus will be revealed as God's High Priest, inaugurating God's Kingdom, and restoring holiness to life.  Jesus reveals the nature of God, reveals the true identity of humanity, and reveals God's purpose that all things be reconciled and united into the Godhead.

Through Christ we are now presented to God "holy and blameless and irreproachable before [God]."  We are swept up into the divine life.  We are made one with Christ, and therefore we live in union with God and with all creation.  We are filled with the Spirit and given the very life and energy of the divine.  Our essential identity is within the eternal love and creativity of God.  There is nothing left for us to do but to be who we are.

Remember who you are and whose you are.  Through our baptism we are revealed as God's beloved children.  In Jesus, God shows the divine intention to embrace and overcome all that separates us from God and from one another.  In him we are raised into the new life of the Spirit.  We share in the Glory that is God's, revealed in Christ, "the image of the invisible God, ...the head of the body, the church..., the firstborn from the dead."  We are no longer enemies of God, but friends.  We are no longer enemies toward one another, but friends.  Peace and reconciliation.  It is God's gift to us, through Christ, in the Spirit.

Lowell
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Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.


Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life

We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkans

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