Sunday, May 26, 2013

Loving the Questions

This past week has been quite busy, so I have not been able to prepare a text for the Sermon preached at the 10.00 a.m. Eucharist at Saint Faith's.  So I have posted a link to an audio file of my Sermon and the notes from which I was working on this Trinity Sunday.

Blessings to one and to all.

RCL Trinity C
26 May 2013

Saint Faith's Anglican Church
Vancouver BC

On Pentecost I spoke about the link between the English verb, to believe, with the German verb, belieben.  To believe is to place one's trust in someone or something; to believe is set one's heart on someone or something.

For a number of years I have been the Coordinator of Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of New Westminster.  One of the seminars that I regularly lead is called 'Loving the Questions:  An Introduction to the Theology of the Creeds'.  I borrowed the title from a book by Marianne Micks who was, for many years, a member of the faculty of the Episcopal seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

We live in a time of fundamentalism, whether it is liberal fundamentalism or conservative fundamentalism, whether it is materialistic fundamentalism or religious fundamentalism.  Fundamentalists have a hard time with doubt or with ambiguity.  Fundamentalists want things clear and precise.

But faith is not, my sisters and brothers, clear and precise.  Faith is not without its moments of doubt.  Faith is always dealing with ambiguity.  The ambiguity of faith arises from our awareness that we do not know everything.  When we don't know everything, it is important to be careful about what we say and sing.  We want to make sure that we leave space for the Spirit to lead us and, from time to time, correct us.

Faith is about loving the questions and loving the life-long journey of exploration that these questions create.

In keeping with tradition we will recite the Nicene Creed today, an ancient creed that unites Christians throughout the world.  Its words do not always resonate with Christians because of their formality and, at times, philosophical strangeness.  But the Christian leaders who struggled to create this creed were believers just like you and me, believers who loved the questions.  They tried to put into words what they knew about the God in whom they put their trust and, at the same time, to leave some space for the Spirit to lead us ever onward into new insights about the God.

Today, when we celebrate the mystery of God in whom we trust and to whom we give our hearts, these are the questions.

·      Do we put our trust in God the Lover?
·      Do we put our trust in God the Beloved?
·      Do we put our trust in God the Love?

Let us love the questions.  Let us love the journey those questions take us on.  Amen.

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