Saturday, 26 May 2018

Trinity Sunday - Preaching Hints

I love Trinity Sunday. One of the best weeks of the Christian year. My chance to thoroughly lapse into tritheism for the day. Just chucking in the odd "one substance" to keep you out of Athanasian Jail. But for those struggling, here's a few hints and tips.
  1. Any analogy you use will almost certainly be heretical. Since 50% of the congregation won't be listening, 25% are effectively Arminian and the other 25% are only there because their nan was married there in 1924, this may not be as much of a problem as you think.  But please not the eggs. 
  2. Preach the text. It won't directly mention the Trinity so away you go.
  3. Do not confuse grammatical and real-life gender. If you don't know what I'm trying to say - consider that a female cat does not gain testicles as it crosses the Rhine from Offenburg to Strasbourg.
  4. Everyone's seen the St Patrick thing now.
  5. Don't speculate about what angels and Doctors of the Church could not understand.
  6. And certainly don't be sure about such things.
  7. God is love. This is both true and worth saying. Don't break the spell by explaining it. And don't start talking about the "DNA of the Church".
  8. Perichoresis does not mean what you think it does.
  9. Keep it simple
  10. The Athanasian Creed really is very long, isn't it? Personally I'm not convinced you have to get this exactly right to avoid Hell. But feel free to preach on that if you don't want a congregation next week. Unless you're a pastor in the Quivering Brethren.
  11. If you don't understand quantum mechanics, don't use it as an analogy. Just because you don't understand two things doesn't make them alike. If you do understand quantum mechanics, remember nobody else does.
  12. Feel free to use the Rublev "Hospitality of Abraham". But remember Fr Fred did last year. And every year since it was painted. And use a projector. If you try and use the real one, you'll get in trouble.
  13. Modalism isn't a capital offence any more. But maybe it should be.
  14. God is love. Did I mention that? 

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  1. Trinity is the Sunday that most Clergy have a day off, and leave it to the Readers to preach, and who can do heresy convincingly without demur from the congregation, who frankly are fed up with Clover comparisons and even Rublev comparisons.

    Mention Dad, Son and Ghosts in the same sentence is definitely the way to go, as even if people are sceptical about Ghosts, they love a good Ghost story.

    I am doing intercessions and wondering how daring I can be with them - but must remember they are not a sermon, rather a begging letter.

  2. Strictly speaking, your cat doesn't need to grow testicles, as there is a perfectly serviceable female equivalent - une chatte. Unfortunately this has also acquired the same connotations as the English word "pussy", so perhaps you'd better stick with un chat so as to avoid embarassing misunderstandings

  3. why do we have to try and explain the trinity anyway. If I'm leading worship, we usually just marvel at it and its manifestations (or should that be his, or theirs?)


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