While it is Trinity Sunday on the church calendar, the notion of the Trinity - the three persons of God in Father/Creator, Soon, and Holy Spirit - is never better described than as "a mystery." This seems like a nice way of saying that you can talk about until you're blue in the face and conclude nothing more. Quite frankly, it's a distraction.
With this Sunday's scripture readings associating with Trinity Sunday, it is a distraction with further distractions built into the main distraction.
For example, we look at day six in the First Creation Story - the story that features God, a calendar, and everything created in contrast with the Second Creation Story with a garden, a serpent, and naked humans which is lots more fun.
The distractions come from the words "subdue" and "dominion" in the text. These expressions have been regularly used to justify the wanton exploitation and destruction of our natural environment supposedly for the betterment of humanity. A close and contextual reading makes it clear that such corrupt interpretations are completely wrong. They misread the whole text and how God intends the human creation to regard the creation which God has entrusted to our wise, judicious, and righteous stewardship.
The full explanation is in the sermon text - downloadable below as a PDF.
Another distraction comes in the so-called Great Commission at the end of Matthew's gospel. The expression there - "make disciples of all nations" - has often been used to launch crusades, to make it a priority to convert everyone to Christianity, to save their hell-bound sinful soul. In fact, it doesn't mean that at all and is a monumental distraction created by people not named Jesus who have a domination thing of their own going on. Jesus wanted us to do what he did - it's that simple. He did not run around trying to 'convert the heathen.' He never told anyone this is what you should do, either.
Like a good distraction, this misguided missionary impulse distracts from engaging the things which Jesus did want his disciples - his students - to learn and do. Things like feeding the hungry, freeing those in bondage, working for reconciliation and peace, embracing each one as sister and brother, practicing incredible grace and forgiveness, reaching out in healing brokenness, seeking justice for the oppressed and exploited, and a whole lot more.
To dig a bit deeper into this, try downloading the sermon by clicking on the PDF link below - yes, the second link - and giving it the once over. We'll try to get the video piece right next week. Again, sorry.