"It Is All in the Perspective"

Sermon by Pastor Paul Olson

Festival of the Holy Trinity

June 15-16, 2019

Psalm 8

John 16:12-15

In her book Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L’Engle repeats Dorothy Sayers’ story of a Japanese man who’s politely listening to a Christian trying to explain the concept of the Trinity. The Japanese man is very puzzled. “Honorable Father, very good. Honorable Son, very good. Honorable Bird, I do not understand at all.”

L’Engle observes: "Very few of us understand Honorable Bird, except to acknowledge that without his power and grace nothing would be written, painted, or composed at all. To say anything beyond this about the creative process is like pulling all the petals off a flower in order to analyze it, and ending up having destroyed the flower."

So writes Madeline L’Engle. 

This weekend in our liturgical calendar, we celebrate the Festival of the Holy Trinity. This is one of those times when the preacher has to be careful not to pull all the petals off the flower while attempting to analyze it. Some things are easier said than done.

After all, this is the only festival day that deals with a doctrine. It’s the only festival day that doesn’t celebrate a person—such as St. Matthew or St. Mark—or an event—such as Christmas, Easter, or Pentecost—in the whole church year. No wonder preachers so often get lost in the weeds on this unique day. This is one of those times that reminds us that “some things just have to be believed to be seen.” 

But the reality is that the big difference between this Festival and the rest of the year is that on this day we focus on God’s being rather than on God’s doing. We focus on who God is rather than on what God has done. 

So what difference does this teaching make to people who wake up each morning, go to work, try to balance their checkbooks and their lives, and take care of home and family? A little history may help, for this is no new issue. It has been the source of bitter name calling through the ages. It has been said that the devil is in the details, but the fact is that truth is frequently found or lost in the details. Everything from baking a cake to launching a space shuttle is dependent upon the details. 



June 8-9, 2019

Day of Pentecost

"The Lobsters of the Church World"

Pastor Patrick Fish

June 1-2, 2019

Easter 6

"The Great Invitation"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

May 18-19, 2019

Easter 5

"Love Without Exception"

Pastor Patrick Fish

May 11-12, 2019

Easter 4

"A New Day"

Pastor Paul Olson

May 4-5, 2019

Easter 3

"Keep on Singing!"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

April 27-28, 2019

Easter 2

"He Came Back for One"

Pastor Patrick Fish

April 20-21, 2019


"Love Sweeps Us Up"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

April 13-14, 2019

Lent 6

"The Counter-Procession that Changes Everything"

Pastor Patrick Fish

April 6-7, 2019

Lent 5

The Extravagance of Love"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

March 30-31, 2019

"Prodigal Love"

Lent 4

Pastor Patrick Fish

March 23-24, 2019

Lent 3

"Lent: A Time to Stay Full Alive"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

March 16-17, 2019

Lent 2

"The Journey Matters"

Pastor Patrick Fish

March 9, 2019

Lent 1

"Lent: A Time to Let Go of Doubt"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

"The Practice of Heart Health"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

March 2-3, 2019

Transfiguration of our Lord

"The Dazzling Christ Who Refigures Us"

Pastor Patrick Fish

February 23-24, 2019

Epiphany 7

"What We Practice We Become"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

February 16-17, 2019

Epiphany 6

"Sermon on the Plain"

Pastor Patrick Fish

February 9-10, 2019

Epiphany 5

"Miracle, Call, and New Life"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

February 2-3, 2019

Epiphany 4

"Challenged and Led by the Good News"

Pastor Patrick Fish

January 26-27, 2019

Epiphany 3

"God's Dream for Justice"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

January 19-20, 2019

Epiphany 2

"Water to Wine: Jesus Reveals God's Abundance"

Pastor Patrick Fish

January 12-13, 2019

Baptism of Our Lord

"Remembering God's Promises"

Pastor Patricia Geiseman

January 5-6, 2019

Epiphany of Our Lord

"Wise Men Visit Reveals God's Dream of Oneness"

Pastor Patrick Fish