Mid Week Reflection and Prayer
(the whisper of the Father, . . . the name of the Son, . . . the prompting of the Spirit)
At the heart of Celtic Christian living is the mystery of the Trinity, God in three persons. The legend of St Patrick plucking a sprig of shamrock and to us it as a way of illustrating the three in one; the one in three to this group Irish people. With the shamrock in the palm of his hand he was saying your God is a God who is Three-in-One. Not masses of words, just the simple leaf of the shamrock.
This God who is Three-in-One is not just a concept rather it points to a living relationship with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. During our prayerful reflection we will come across other ways in which the Holy Trinity is described. All of them embrace the mystery, a sacred mystery that is the heart of our faith.
Let us turn to our time of prayerful refection. Still yourself, slowly breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth. Do this several times.
+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Holy God, faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. (Common Worship Collect for Trinity Sunday)
The Word of the Lord
(Verses from the readings set for Trinity Sunday)
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you powers of heaven, •
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name; •
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; •
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; •
the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.
15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Within the Anglican tradition our worship opens and closes with invoking the name of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit but there are other expressions that can widen our understanding of the Holy Trinity.
Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life.
God as Presence, the Son as Love, the Spirit as Breath.
The love of the Father, the tenderness of the Son, and the presence of the Spirit.
These are just three of the expressions that can and are used. You may have others!
Sit quietly and reflect on these expressions and then think of how you have experienced your relationship with the Holy Trinity, what words would you use.
John Birch offers these lovely and gentle ways of expressing an understanding and experiencing the Trinity.
May the whisper of the Father be the one that wakens you, the open hand of the Son be the one that raises you, the prompting of the Spirit be the one that sends you, this morning and all mornings, and leads you safely home. (John Birch)
Or perhaps these words:
The embrace of the Father be the comfort you desire. The name of the Son Be the one on whom you rely. The presence of the Spirit Be with you every hour. The Three in One Be the focus of all you are. (John Birch)
The whisper, the open hand and prompting, embrace, comfort and presence words of relationship.
Slowly take in these words, perhaps re-read them.
Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Local church and its leaders
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed
those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill
those facing death
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
The Lords Prayer
Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and live and reign in the perfect unity of love:
hold us firm in this faith,
that we may know you in all your ways
and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,
who are three Persons yet one God,
now and for ever. (Common Worship Post Communion Prayer for Trinity Sunday)
+ The blessing of the God of life be with us in our journeying. The blessing of the risen Christ be with us in our following. The blessing of the Holy Spirit be with us in our questioning. The blessing of the heavenly host be with us in our worshipping. Bless, O God, each hour, each day, that we shall walk with you. (John Birch)
*John’s prayers are from ‘God beside us’ pages 9, 26, 28
Rev Derek Akker