Trinity Sunday

Lectionary 1st Reading Psalm 2nd Reading Gospel
Anglican lectionary
Isaiah 6:1-8
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17
Catholic lectionary:
Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40
Matthew 28:16-20


“Hopeless and broken” “We live in an age of fools” “I worry about the future
my children are inheriting”

A recent survey of climate scientists spoke of despair, frustration and
depression at the world’s failure to act fast enough in the face of the
climate crisis. Only six percent of those surveyed believe we can keep the
rise in temperature to below 1.5 degrees increase since industrial times –
which threatens the world with a rapid increase in flooding, droughts and
climate disasters1

Climate scientists have just told us the world is facing a dystopian future –
what is then the point of Trinity Sunday?

Our understanding of God is vital – for years Christians have been
contributed to the destruction of the environment, Christianity gave an
underpinning to colonialism, the Industrial Revolution, the extractive

Our relationship with nature is dysfunctional and is based on a flawed
understanding of God.

Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and
lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.

What is your image of the Creator God? Here we see the Lord – sitting on a
throne, high and lofty- for many this is the Image of God the Father – far away.
For many of us that is the picture we have of Creation – God the Father created it
and told humans to take control, we were given commands to subdue and
dominate –and over the centuries we have done just this – leading to climate
change, bio-diversity collapse and a pollution crisis.

Yet when we look at the Creed, we realise that this is incorrect – the Creator God
is Trinitarian.

We believe in God the Father – who ‘created all things, heaven and earth, the
visible and invisible world’ the Son, through whom ‘all things were created’, and
the Holy Spirit, who ‘gives life’.

God in three persons created the world, God the Father was not alone! – In the
beginning ‘was the word” – the Christ was present, and the Spirit was present –
‘hovering over the surface of the waters.“

What is the role of Christ in Creation: In the beginning was the Word

Colossians 1:15-20 helps us to understand the role of Christ in Creation

  • Christ is the source of Creation: by him, all things were created v16
  • Christ is the sustainer of Creation; “ in him, all things hold together v 17
  • Christ is the saviour of Creation: “to reconcile to himself all things…on earth and in heaven .. through his blood, shed on the cross v 20 2

This is important to understand when we come to today’s gospel. The most
famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16, God so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten son. Most of us understood it to mean that God loved the people of
the world, and yet the word in Greek is ‘cosmos’ God so loved the whole cosmos
that he sent his son to save it! Jesus shed his blood on the cross to reconcile all
things to God – the destroyed ecosystems, the warring nations, the polluted
rivers – all things!

What is the role of the Spirit at Creation: hovering over the surface of the waters:

In the Bible, God’s spirit is identified with the Hebrew word Ruach, which also
means breath. This is the same in many languages – spirit and breath are the
same word. In Genesis 2:7, it is after God breathes into Adam that Adam comes
alive. In Ezekiel 37, when the dry bones in the valley come to life as a result of
God’s ruach. Ruach can give life to the lifeless and bring renewed life to those
who have no hope. The Spirit of God is at work in creation. Even in situations of
death, sorrow, despair, and hopelessness, the Spirit can move us and create a
space of joy to be alive. If it can bring back to life what was dead, what more can
the Spirit do for us?! 3

What is our role?

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again;
rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by
him, we cry, “Abba Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we
are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God
and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings so that we
may also share in his glory (Rom 8:15-17).

The Bible makes it clear that we are sons and daughters of the living God. The following section in Romans 8 tells us that creation is groaning (Rom 8:22) but also that Creation is “waiting on tiptoe for the sons and daughters of God to be
revealed” (Rom 8: 19).

For too many generations we have been part of the problem but God is calling
us to take our place as children of the living God, filled with the breath of the
Holy Spirit, to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and work for the renewal of this Earth.
 When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the
earth (Psalm 104 v 30).


2 Planetwise: Dave Bookless



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Rachel Mash

Rev. Dr. Rachel Mash

Rev Dr Rachel Mash is the environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. (South Africa, Swaziland- Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique). She works with the Green Anglicans youth Movement which is taking off in Africa. She is also the secretary to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network and sits on the steering group of the Season of Creation group.

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