Almighty and everlasting God, you have given us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity

                                                                                                 (from the Trinity Sunday Collect)


Thus says the wisdom of God: Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?

(Proverbs 8.1)


חָכְמה (hochmah): noun, feminine, wisdom

THIS morning’s collect, as is often the case it seems to me, retains a distinctly masculine, even patriarchal voice. Its linguistic flow is toward a God of power and majesty and it invokes confession of a singular “true faith” in that Almighty and eternal, monarchical God. There is, I think, a helpful edge to this language, in as much as it lends a certain humility to the position from which the human being, by God’s grace, prays to, through and into the transcendent, imminent and present Divine. But it is also the lexemic remnant of the promoted and carefully refined religions of successive patriarchal and fundamentally political empires, who have put such language to use in the bolstering of their channels of control and in affecting the suppression of alternative philosophy or culture. At worst, such language still has the power to divert the spiritual flow of the religious, from its natural source and destination in the Divine, to the mechanics of state religion. Such extreme aside, it can still leave the praying Christian with an overly legalistic and domineering God-image to relate prayer to, in which the Christ and Holy Spirit parts of Holy Trinity are subsumed into a hierarchically supreme Father. Somewhere along the historical line, the feminine Divine has, by deliberation or otherwise, been all but lost. Its suppression leaves many worshipers with a chronically depleted understanding of the God to whom their worship relates.

If Trinity Sunday is of any use, it is that it reminds us that God is not hierarchy. Nor is God distant or separated from us. God is Community. She/he calls us into his/her divine, cosmic and eternal dance.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on May 20, 2016.

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