Meditating on these scriptures in November 2020, I try to imagine the world as it might be in the week of Trinity Sunday, June 2022. Eighteen months ago, I could not have imagined our world as it is today: holiday gatherings stilled by a global pandemic; a US president challenging the orderly transfer of power. More familiar catastrophes threaten joy and peace: violence from systemic racism, extreme weather events from climate change, and increasing polarities of wealth and poverty.
In February 2020 I received an email from Jane, a good student who had not submitted her assignment on time. “I am so distraught by what is happening in Wuhan that I haven’t been able to study.” This Chinese-Canadian Buddhist had a PhD in microbiology and had published articles on SARS. She was reading the Chinese websites and anticipated the devastation that COVID-19 could wreak around the world. After her initial distress, Jane gathered her resilience and presented the realities of what she was reading to the class. Her Buddhism strengthened her as she struggled with the pandemic. She brought warnings about the novel coronavirus that were emerging from the doctors in Toronto’s emergency rooms.*
The Gospel of John spoke to sufferings that were too painful for the disciples to know in advance. For traumas we cannot anticipate, these words live for us too. Reading further in John, they are words of transformation, of restoration, of joy, of peace. John does not ignore the depths of our grief but promises words born of the Trinity—Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer—that meet us when we need them because the unimaginable happens.
We open ourselves to you, God, to hear the truth of the Spirit as you speak to the depths of our sorrows. Quietly we wait in the name of God who is Three in One. Amen.
In our society we often privilege intellect and expertise. However, in Proverbs we read that God values wisdom. Wisdom has been present since the beginning, and some early theologians understand this Wisdom to be none other than the Son of God. Part of wisdom is understanding our place in the universe. The psalmist marvels at the vast display of God’s power in the heavens yet also recognizes that humans are a manifestation of God’s glory. The New Testament readings invoke the Trinity as we approach Trinity Sunday. Paul says that we have peace with God through Christ, and we are given the Holy Spirit. In John’s Gospel, we read that Jesus Christ has received everything from the Father, and the Spirit will guide his followers into all truth.
Read Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31. When have you heard God calling out to you?
Read Psalm 8. The author reminds us that our shortcomings are not because we are only human but because we fall short of our humanity. How do you strive to be more human—a little lower than God?
Read Romans 5:1-5. How do you allow God’s peace to calm you when you feel your life swirling around you?
Read John 16:12-15. To which person of the Trinity do you feel “closest”? How can you develop your relationship with the other two persons?
Respond by posting a prayer.