Wednesday, June 14, 2006

News from the Low Country

It is a joy and privilege for me to serve on staff at St. Philip's Church in Charleston. I am working with wonderful men and women of this parish, and trying to make the most of this learning experience. We are enjoying nice accommodations for the months of June and July from two different parishioners who have graciously opened their homes to Robyn, William and me. We are thankful that God has blessed us with two families who were willing to take in strangers for a month each.

The worship is glorious and Spirit-filled. I look forward to hearing the Gospel preached from the other priests on staff, and make my contribution on July 9. My first week teaching Sunday school was well received as we began to explore Paul's letter to the Philippians using Nicky Gumbel's book, A Life Worth Living. I look forward to seeing where our discussion leads us.

Robyn and William have been exploring Charleston and making sure to hit the beach on a real regular basis. They are settling into a routine, and are enjoying their time here as well.

Thank God the sand gnats have decided to subside a bit, and have not greeted us yet. We know all about them from our Brunswick days, and would just as soon never see them again! More to follow...
Collect for Trinity Sunday (BCP, p. 186)

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants 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 thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Our true faith as Christians is found in the recognition that we must believe in the redeeming work done by Jesus Christ on the cross. Taking that one step further though, we must also believe that the same person who became Man, took sin upon Himself, died so that we will never die, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, is in fact God. Not some 'other.' Not something less than God, but rather, Jesus is God. The Spirit of God who dwells with us today is in the same manner God as the first and second persons are.

No words can adequately explain something that our human vocabulary is incapable of mastering. We can only do what Archbishop Cranmer asks in the first part of the petition - for true faith through grace. He does not ask God to give us a blueprint for the Trinity in terms that we can understand. He left the Trinity a mystery, and so should we. He left it in a way that only faith can do it justice.

I pray for that faith every day, and I believe in the Unity of the Trinity - leaving the full comprehension for the day when I can see and understand face-to-face!