Sunday, June 16, was Trinity Sunday, the next after Pentecost or Whitsunday, observed as a festival in honor of the Trinity, the union of three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) in one Godhead. Altar and vestment colors are white, the color of purity, and our spiritual, non-physical existence.
Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Trinity Sunday scripture reading from Revelation 4:1 in which John is given a glimpse of heaven: “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven…” This is a difficult vision to understand and has to be seen in symbolic terms. He first hears a voice like a trumpet welcoming him, then sees one sitting on the throne full of light; this is the seat of power and only God sits there. He is surrounded by twenty-four elders who are unidentified but are special people set apart. These are sometimes interpreted as the twelve patriarchs of the Old Testament and the twelve apostles of the New Testament, who together make up the church. There are also four living creatures seen by some as representing the four elements, earth, air, fire & water and by some as representing the four Gospel writers.
The point is that God rules over all creation and we must respond to Him on His own terms; our physical lives are insignificant by comparison. God is seen in terms of lightning and thunder and sheer power. The term Trinity does not appear in the Bible, but was first used by the Bishop of Antioch around 170 AD and has been a part of Christian theology ever since; Antioch was also the city where the term Christian was first used.
In announcements Bishop Hartley noted that our next vestry meeting will be July 14, and during prayer time said the birthday prayer for Joe Chriswell whose birthday is June 22.
If it is summertime, it is Tent Theater time and on Friday I drove to Springfield and met my Tent Theater friends for dinner and then a performance of the musical “Grease” which was performed to perfection and a great treat we all enjoyed.