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Trinity Sunday: on not explaining the doctrine

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Trying to explain the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity is like trying to pour the sea into a hole in sand, using only a small bucket.

That bucket could never contain the whole mystery of the one God, who is Creator, Redeemer and Life-Giver.

Here's a story I like for Trinity Sunday:
A child dug a hole in a beach. She ran to the sea, filled her beach bucket with water and excitedly brought it back to fill the hole. The water gradually seeped into the sand and disappeared. Undaunted, she went back for more. The same thing happened. Over and over again she ran to the sea, filled her bucket and poured water into the hole. In spite of all her efforts she discovered that she couldn’t fill the hole.
The child began to cry. Her father comforted her and pointed out that the tide was coming in and this would change things. Her father helped her dig a channel towards the sea, so that with the incoming tide, the water would flow into the hole and fill it.
Those of us who think about such thin…

Resisting God

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Yesterday in my post for Ascension Day I linked to the prayer initiative 'Thy Kingdom Come'.

'Thy Kingdom Come' is an international and ecumenical call to prayer, for Christians to join together in the 10 days from Ascension Day to Pentecost to pray for more people to come to know Jesus Christ.

It was Jesus who taught his followers to pray 'Thy Kingdom come'. When we pray that prayer we are asking for God's rule of love, justice and peace to be made as real on earth as it is in heaven. It is not something we can pray regularly without seeing that changes need to be made, not only in the world 'out there' or in 'those people', but changes in ourselves as followers of Jesus.

One of the reasons we may find it hard to pray, or may avoid prayer, is our unwillingness to allow God to transform us to become more like Jesus, whose life on earth so perfectly embodied the values of God's kingdom. If you don't know what those values are, then take …

Ascension Day 2018

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Ascension Day often passes unnoticed, even by many Christians.

It falls on the Thursday of the 6th week of the Easter season, 10 days before Pentecost Sunday.

Like Easter it is a move-able feast and lacks the commercial reminders that alert people to the date of Easter Sunday. 

Ascension Day recalls the last of the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples. So it could be seen as an ending. But as with most endings it also marks a beginning.

The stained glass image at the head of this post shows the disciples, including Jesus' mother Mary looking up after Jesus disappeared from their sight. They could not stay there. They had to return from the quiet place to the bustle of the city where they did indeed find him to be still with them, but in a new way.
Ascension Day celebrates not the absence of Jesus but his presence, no longer confined to time, space or a particular locality of ancient Palestine. Jesus is present and potentially available by his Holy Spirit to all people eve…