It rarely seems as if there is anything to be delighted about, when we look to news coverage and social media. ‘Jokes’ about acid attacks and rape, bickering politicians, homophobic attacks in public places….. but still God delights in the human race.
Let’s get this straight, God doesn’t delight in the bickering, the verbal and physical abuse, God doesn’t delight in the narrow minded approaches to gender and sexuality, or to bigoted ideals of purity. I think it breaks God’s heart to see what is supposed to be the crown of creation, humanity made in God’s own image, acting in such ungodly ways.
But broken, arrogant, wayward humanity is still God’s delight, and on Father’s day let us celebrate that.
Father’s Day, a day to be thankful for the father figures in our lives, to encourage and nurture men in their parenting roles and as role models: John speaks of the special relationship between Father and Son (although fathers and daughters can also have a special bond). For God the Father/Son relationship was that between himself and Jesus. As we read through the gospels we see Jesus, time and again, going off to spend some special alone time with his Father.
One to one time is precious for any parent and child. A time to be alone to share what really matters and to get to know each other as individuals. It is a time to be loved and valued and identified. Jesus took that time and we need to be able to take that time too, whether with our own fathers, or with our children.
We also read of Jesus, especially in John, telling his disciples that he and the Father are one. The bond between these two is more than that of a parent/child relationship, Jesus is more than just a chip off the old block, he and the block are one!
It is almost impossible for us to get our heads around, indeed Jesus tells his disciples
I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now.John 16:12
Jesus promises that the Spirit of Truth will come to help them, and us, to understand. This is interesting because the Spirit of Truth, has been given many titles over the millennia, we know her best by the title of Holy Spirit, and we also know her best as male (!). Yet in Proverbs, which predates any New Testament writing, the Holy Spirit was known as Wisdom (in Greek Sophia) and was female.
Does not Wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?Proverbs 8:1
We also learn that Wisdom, Sophia, the Spirit of Truth, was part of creation, there before the beginning of the earth, there when God established the heavens, beside him like a master worker. It is Wisdom who speaks of delight, of being God’s delight, and also delighting in not just the works of creation, but specifically in the human race.
Trinity Sunday, as today is also known, is a day in which we are invited to become a part of the delighting. We may not fully understand the ability of God to be one and yet three (after all we are mere mortals), but it is because of the mutual delight and rejoicing and love of Father, Jesus and Wisdom, that we were called into being in the first place. Humanity was loved into being, rejoiced into our own creation, and delighted into existence. When we look at it that way is it any surprise that our own act of creation stems in what can be the most loving, joyful and delightful experience of sexual union?
Today, whether we are parents or not, male or other, we are called into this joyful celebration of loving each other, of rejoicing in the very being of our friends and neighbours, of delighting with God in humanity. Perhaps we are also called to become more delightful to each other too, and fully embrace our identity as children of God, as chips off the old block?
Read the Bible passages in full here.