The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
This is our trinitarian greeting that comes from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. We hear it every Sunday, and it’s part of the lectionary readings for Holy Trinity Sunday, June 7.
On this Sunday, we encounter the original community, the divine relationship of God the Creator, God the Son and God the Spirit. Under normal circumstances, I would tell you this isn’t the time to try to explain the mystery of the Trinity. Rather, it’s a time to honor the triune God, to celebrate the immensity of our God and to proclaim that our God is beyond explanation, because every name we have for God is, ultimately, inadequate. On Holy Trinity Sunday, our best practice would be to lean into the divine mystery.
Unfortunately, I write to you under unusual circumstances. My family is sheltering in place due to COVID-19. Most of the United States is practicing social distancing. I’m not sure what our nation will experience by the time this article is published, but I do know that community is essential in uncertain times.
As we grieve the loss of loved ones, work and society as it once was, fear and frustration are palpable. It’s hard not to worry. I’m concerned about my parents, who are in their late 70s, and about my extended family in Namibia.
I’m not sure what our nation will experience by the time this article is published, but I do know that community is essential in uncertain times.
Yet, even in this storm of uncertainty, I’m comforted knowing exactly where my children are—at home with me. I don’t have to worry about whether my daughter will be bullied again at school. I’m not worried about our oldest, who lives with autism, having a meltdown that will cause his school to call the police and might result in a tragic ending. I find a peculiar peace knowing it’s easier to protect my children from COVID-19 than from everyday injustices that minoritized people often face.
The lectionary texts for Holy Trinity Sunday speak to times of ambiguity. The creation story from Genesis illustrates what our God can do with chaos. The Trinity illustrates for us that the gift of community can be born in exile. When we choose hope over fear, we’re in community. Any time we meet injustice with God’s liberating power, we’re in community. Whenever we choose love over hate, we’re in community.
When we’re unable to meet God in our familiar worship spaces, we discover that our God is not limited by location. The Spirit is active beyond our buildings, pipe organs and worship books. Our Savior is fond of breaking boundaries. During this pandemic, we have broadened the ways in which we worship. Our God cannot be contained.
I’ve asked myself repeatedly, “Is the good news still good during a global health crisis?” Absolutely. In the Gospel passage for Holy Trinity Sunday, Jesus makes this clear: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).