Reflection for Trinity Sunday - Revd Arani Sen
Reflection Trinity Sunday 7 June 2020
The Revd Arani Sen, Rector
Between Ascension Day and Pentecost this year, George Floyd, an African American man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd was handcuffed and while lying face down on a city street during an arrest, a white Minneapolis police officer, brutally pushed his knee on the right side of Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive.
Floyd called out repeatedly “I can’t breathe”.
On Trinity Sunday we recall that breath, the breath of the Spirit, the breath of Jesus, his parting gesture to this world, is a symbol of empowerment, spiritual and transformational. In John 20:22, Jesus says: ‘“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”’ The breath of God is life-giving, the spirit blows where it will.
For George Floyd, the brutal constriction on his throat rapidly, agonisingly, humiliatingly sucked every last breath out of him. He called out repeatedly, “They’re going to kill me", "My stomach hurts", "My neck hurts", "Everything hurts" and “Mama”.
“My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Except God has not. Like Christ himself George is vindicated in heaven, in the sight of God, yet we cannot ignore the evil, the institutional racism and the societal injustice that led to his untimely and unnecessary death. That is why millions are protesting, protesting that things must change; protesting that racism in all its forms, overt, covert, institutional, must stop.
The breath of Jesus is breathed onto his church to empower us to draw deeply into the presence and vision of God, to listen, to be connected, to worship. But our worship is for a purpose, it is to empower us to be strengthened and go out into the world. We end our worship by saying “Send us out in the power of your Spirit, to live and work to your praise and glory.”
This is encapsulated in the Great Commission, Matthew 28: 16 -20. Through our worship we are being empowered to be ambassadors of Jesus, to go out and “to make disciples of all nations, baptising in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that [Jesus] has commanded [us]”. Today we are especially mindful that part of that work is to bring peace to people, and into God’s world. Mindful of the lack of peace in society, in our world, in individual lives, it is peace that we see in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who, as perfect community, and in perfect unity, provide our model to be church, as we seek to build the kingdom of God, seeing the justice of Jesus reflected in all areas of our society and in the world.
As we live our Christ empowered lives this week, may we go out in name of the Holy Trinity to bear the love, the mercy, the forgiveness and above all the peace of God in our words, our thoughts and our deeds.