Come, Join the Dance - Reflections 6-4-20

Texts for Sunday June 7, 2020
Holy Trinity Sunday
Image by Bronislaw Drozka from Pixabay

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Psalm 8
2 Cor 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20


I’ve seen that word often in the last 3 months …Usually in sentences describing earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, tropical storms, hordes of locusts (for the love of Pete), and of course, in the novel coronavirus COVID19. It does feel like nature is piling on.  

And then there’s the headlines. Did you know that murder hornets have entered the US? (true, but…) Or that a stadium-sized asteroid is hurtling toward earth Saturday? (true, but…) And the much more serious headline that George Floyd was tortured and murdered right before the worlds’ eyes. And protests have followed, some of which have become destructive and violent and have been responded to by destruction and violence.

Apocalypse is used to describe an event or events involving destruction of damage on a catastrophic scale. Sometimes it implies the imminent and total annihilation of earth by any combination of the phenomena listed above and more. People’s use of it refers to the last book of the Bible The Apocalypse of St. John. That book is also known as the Revelation of St. John

But the original meaning which is used for the biblical book is different. The Greek word apok├ílupsis means to uncover, reveal, or poetically, lift the veil. 

I do understand that the recent usage means the catastrophic feeling that the world is ending. But I think these events have also uncovered, lifted the veil to reveal significant and long-term systemic issues – economic inequality within and between nations, racial discrimination and bias, racial privilege, abuse of earth’s resources and disregard of consequences.

This Sunday we celebrate Holy Trinity Sunday – God as Creator, Savior, and Spirit. The doctrine is an attempt to express the ways humans experience God. It may feel like too large a leap from the chaos of these days to think about the Three-In-One and One-In-Three. But remember Genesis 1:1 says that God’s wind/Spirit hovered over the chaos just before the moment of creation. I am certain that God is hovering over these days and months. And I am praying for a new creation out of this mess.

My go-to understanding of the Triune God is relationship. God’s very self is relationship and because of that God is diversity and difference. We see God create an abundantly diverse earth in Genesis which God proclaims as “good”.  God says “Let us make humankind in our image”. We are made for relationship and we are varied and distinctly diverse. Throughout history, God has shown us the joys of our differences; diversity is cause for celebration.  Over and over, we reject that. The question for us is why does this diversity cause fear and distrust?

Relationship is connection and intimacy. In the Gospels, you can see God as connection providing Jesus the support and encouragement needed for his ministry. At his baptism, God announces that God is well pleased with the Son. Then the Spirit swoops in like dove… like a sports trainer swoops in with a water bottle to renew the player’s stamina. We have really suffered as we have grown apart, separate and independent of others. I think the chaos of sudden enforced isolation may have given us a new appreciation of our communal self. Will that stick?

And finally, this God who is relationship is on the move, like dancers on the dance floor…. shifting and flowing and turning together. These times we are in are indeed apocalyptic. They have revealed directions toward which we need to move for healing and connection. The Triune God holds out a hand to us to join the dance of renewed life. Taking that hand means we will change and turn and advance. Dare we?

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245