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Well-Worn Paths of Relationship

Retired Lutheran Pastor Richard Lischer shared this interpretation of the Trinity he discovered while contemplating a stained glass window depiction of the Trinity: “The fairly typical Trinitarian design of three interconnecting triangles reminded me of an aerial photograph taken of our small farming community. Besides the straight and orderly rows of crops in the fields, another distinct pattern emerged: well-worn paths criss-crossing from one farmhouse to another. These paths, worn into the ground by generations of neighbors visiting and helping out in times of need, linked the town, they knit the community together.” Lischer’s description of the interconnectedness represented in those paths explains my experience of the Trinity.

God grooves paths in our lives, coming to us at different times and in different forms to address a variety of needs.

God, in three persons, Blessed Trinity, reaches out to us as a strong parental type when we feel small and childlike. God in three persons, Blessed Trinity reaches out to us as a forgiving friend in times of loneliness and confusion. God in three persons, Blessed Trinity reaches out to us as a sustaining force of inexplicable peace when we are bereft and lost, angry and bitter, hopeless and helpless. God in three persons, Blessed Trinity, longs to be a palpable presence in our lives, so God, in God’s infinite wisdom, walks a number of paths to reach us.

- Catherine Dempesy, excerpted from "Miracle and Mystery in the Three in One and One in Three," a sermon preached on June 4, 2012 at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Buffalo, NY