St Matthews Digital
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12 June 2022
Helen Jacobi explores the concept of wisdom on Trinity Sunday
Rev Helen Jacobi
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On the front cover of our order of service today is the famous icon of the Trinity by the Russian artist rublev from the 15th century. It's one that's been copied ever since by icon writers, It depicts the story from Genesis, where Abraham offers Hospitality 23 mysterious visitors in later times. The Three Angels got interpreted to mean God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And if you look at their faces, they're identical.
But they are dressed and slightly different clothes and they talked together as they receive Abraham and Sarah's hospitality.
Apparently, the figure on the left is God, the father, because the other two are looking towards him, but they also look quite feminine, don't they? So, you know, could also be God, the mother.
And the icon exhibition which is on at the Art Gallery at the moment. There is another icon showing Sophia, holy wisdom.
She is dressed and Byzantine courtly trees with angel wings and a crown and that representation is also common in the trees be found in icons. When looking at any icon, were invited to see through them and to The Souls of the saints that they depict to enter into the story to be present in it, and to venerate the figures as we worship.
The doctrine of the Trinity where God is three and one. And one and three can also be an icon that invites us I think we usually think of the Trinity as a complication puzzle that we feel. We've got to understand and puzzle out something drawn up for us by the theologians of the fourth Century to bother us ever after.
We have a baptism after the service today. And in talking with baptism families, I always say that the words of the baptism service can sound a bit boxy, the parents and godparents say, I believe in God, the Father, make her own sustainer of all things. And in God, the son, My Savior, Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit Giver of Life in truth.
Very classic trinitarian theology. But I always say to them, don't think of those words as a closed box that you've somehow got it fit yourself into think of them as an open container that helps. Hold our beliefs and our questions.
And open container like the symbol on our banner and on our robes.
The The Chalice that holds open everything that might be contained within it.
Or Nikon that we look through to see the presence of God.
Just like Jesus says to the disciples and John's gospel. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now or understand them. Now, when the spirit comes, the spirit will guide you.
So faith is not a formula for a Doctrine, but a journey into the mystery of God. And I think how very beautiful reading from The Book of Proverbs today, really helps us with that Journey.
Wisdom in the Old Testament is often personified as a woman, but particularly in Proverbs and wisdom calls, us calls to us on the heights beside the way at the crossroads beside the gates and the front of the town at the entrance of the portal.
Wisdom is not found locked away in a book or a library, or a temple or a special holy place.
Wisdom is found and the public places where the people gather the crossroads, the gates, the entrances one writer Jeff.
Pascal puts it like this. I was out shopping yesterday, and whom. Did I run into wisdom? Yes, there she was. She called me over and we began talking wisdom. And I then I went down to the courthouse, and there she was. Again, making a plea for justice.
In some dingy courtroom where somebody had been unjustly accused.
And after that, I dropped by the school and she got in there ahead of me, calling for students and teachers alike, to seek the truth.
Last night, we were privileged to go to the Auckland University. Distinguished alumni Awards and five people. Five amazing people were awarded that distinction and they'd all taken the wisdom of their formation. And their studies at University and expanded and shared them and shared their wisdom. And then found teams of people to work with them to continue to help with that wisdom, they were people from the health sector.
On the Arts from tail, Maori, incredible stories and they saw themselves as just doing their jobs just doing and what they've been given the skills to do, but we saw them as people of incredible wisdom, but that was done was shared, and then found and the ordinary things of their lives.
So, that was Adam, that presence of God is found in our ordinary everyday lives and our ordinary everyday places.
Wisdom is not special or closed off or formulaic but amongst us all of the time. And the writer of Proverbs says that wisdom has been there since creation itself.
Jeff. Pascal's version of the story continues. Then I went for a walk in the bush. Moving along the track and quiet meditation, wisdom snuck up on me and see it. Now that we're alone. I have something I want to share with you a present for you to enjoy, you know. I've been around a long time.
Really before the beginning of time, I have been willing and Dancing With God all along. I am God's Delight laughing and play it.
I want you to know the lightness of spirit and gladness that come when you welcome me like a fantail flitting across your path and the bush will you set aside those thoughts words and deeds that make life heavy and sad for you and for others.
Will you come and play and laugh with me? Will you come and dance with me? Will you?
The sense of wisdom being part of creation is where the trinitarian theologians pick up, wisdom, who in turn becomes the Greek Lagos or the word from the beginning of John's gospel. And the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and John. The gospel writer is talking about Jesus, so if you can follow their credit trajectory was demand creation, becomes log or some the word becomes Jesus.
And that's why their passage gets chosen for Trinity Sunday and the theologians and the fourth Century use this passage to debate the nature of the trinity.
But I think it's much better to stay in the world of the writer of Proverbs or the editor of Proverbs rather than getting bogged down and that kind of doctrinal trajectory because in the world of Proverbs wisdom as ever-present ever Dynamic. If a positive ever joyful and is found in us and the world, The last line of the reading.
I was demand was daily, God's to light rejoicing before God always rejoicing and gods, inhabited, world and delighting in the human race.
Delighting and the human race.
God Delights in US rejoices with us.
Maybe that is why the Sophia wisdom icon as always dressed in courtly dries. Ready for a celebration.
So, can we Delight today? And a God who loves us and comes to us in many images, and many ideas, father and mother son was demonic spirit and breath.
Can we look for God's presence on the heights beside the way at the crossroads wherever we are?
Can we trust that God's goodness and God's wisdom as woven into our very Souls?
And can we trust that? Others will Delight in seeing God within us. Just like looking at an icon of the Divine