Today is Trinity Sunday, when we reflect on how God is three Persons: the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.‘Trinity’ can be seen as God’s proper name, ‘the triune name’ – ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. The prefix tri- means 3, used in the words triangle, triathlon, triceratops and tricycle as well as in Trinity.
In the Gospel we heard the words of Jesus’ great commission that the disciples were to: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. (Matthew 28:19) In the Sacrament of Baptism the outward and visible water reminds us of the inward grace of cleansing and refreshment. This morning Fr Neil will baptise Isaac and Poppy ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ Fr Neil will tip the baptismal water from this shell, which is an ancient symbol of Christian pilgrimage; as today Isaac and Poppy begin their Christian pilgrimage. Jesus asks us all to ‘go and make disciples’ by telling our family and friends about the love of Jesus and helping them come to know Jesus. How wonderful that Jesus tells us: ‘I am with you always’. (Matthew 28:20)
The Creeds were written to clarify beliefs and to be statements of faith to oppose heresy; thus protecting the Church from wrong teaching. People who were preparing for baptism in the early centuries of the Christian Church learned a short summary of what Christians believe. One version became accepted as the Apostles’ Creed, because it was thought to include the essential teaching of the 12 apostles, Jesus’ earliest followers. It was into that faith of the apostles that Christians were, and are, baptised. It is a great joy to welcome Isaac and Poppy this morning when we say The Apostles’ Creed at their Baptism Service in this Mass.
The reading from Isaiah is chosen for today because of the threefold ‘holy’: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts’, in the worship of heaven. God asks ‘who will go for us? This signposts the Triune God known by Christians as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Epistle reminds us that we are children of God and we can call God ‘Abba! Father!’ Today God receives Isaac and Poppy into his Church through baptism and the Holy Spirit will come upon them when they are anointed with the oil of Baptism and the oil of Chrism. They will receive the light of Christ when they are given their baptismal candles and challenged with us all to: ‘Shine as a light in the world.’ How can you shine with the light of Jesus and share his love?
The doctrine of the Trinity is best understood by experiencing that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God in three Persons. God is calling us to know Him by experiencing a living relationship with God as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. May Isaac, Poppy and all of us keep growing to know, love and follow God more; by praying more to the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen