Trinity Sunday 7th June 2020
The number three is very significant in the lives of the people of Wales. Particularly now, because we seem to be having three weekly reviews of the lockdown measures in Wales. This leads to a pattern of hope, that we might get some movement on at least being allowed to open our churches for private prayer and then disappointment, when there is no change.
I wonder that when the Welsh Assembly Government decided to stick to three weekly reviews, whether they were aware of just how long the number three has been significant in Welsh culture. Gerald of Wales, writing at the end of the twelfth century, remarks that the Welsh sit down to eat in threes rather than the more usual twos.
The significance of the number three in Welsh culture derives from the particular devotion of the early churches in Wales to the worship of the Trinity. From the earliest surviving religious documents written in Welsh, we have poems and prayers about the wonder and mystery of the Trinity.
The wonder of that perfect relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit who work together in perfect harmony for the good of all. At the moment, we too are being asked to act in such harmonious unity. The reason we are in lockdown and have to keep away from other people, no matter how much we want to be with them, is to protect all those around us from the potential harm Covid-19 could do to them. We are called to sacrifice our freedom for the good of all.
Holding onto such love and compassion for others is not easy. We often feel let down by the apparently selfish actions of others. Before we instinctively react negatively to such behaviour we can ask for help from our Trinitarian God: The help of God our Father our Creator and Protector, The help of God the Son our Saviour and Redeemer, The help of God the Holy Spirit our Strengthener and Life-giver, The help of the Three in One and the One in Three.
Reclaiming the ancient prayer of our landscape, the prayers offered to the three:
Thanks be to the Father. He gives me light. He guides my way.
Thanks be to the Saviour. He gives me love. He hears me pray.
Thanks be to the Spirit. He gives me life. With me to stay.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all evermore. Amen.