Paul’s daunting promise to the Romans haunts me: “Suffering produces endurance,” he assures the Romans and us, “and endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Recently I stood in the pulpit of my church and looked over the top of a white, 32-inch-long casket at a young couple from my congregation. Their six-month-old son, who had been happy and healthy just days before, had died in his sleep. The unfathomable suffering of the family was shadowed by a church filled with mourners for whom the scene enacted their most dreaded fears.
According to Emily Dickinson, you speak the truth best when you tell it “slant.” I am quite sure that when she penned this line the blessed Trinity was far from her thoughts. Nonetheless, her characterization of truth-telling is good to keep in mind when approaching this mysterious feast of God, the three in one and one and three.
"We have forgotten who we are. We have sought only our own security, we have exploited simply for our own ends, we have distorted our knowledge, we have abused our power.” So reads the proclamation of the UN Environmental Sabbath Program.
It’s been called a great hinge, this day of the Trinity. It stands between the two halves of the church year. The first half focuses on the life of Christ, the second half on the life of the church. While some call it a great hinge, others call it a great pain!