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Homilies from Nola Crewe
10th July 2005

10 July 2005 Sermon

We Anglicans practice “common prayer”, that is  saying together each Sunday such prayers as the Apostles Creed which, as soon as I finish, we’ll all say together.  In it we state our belief in the Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but what do we mean when we say that?

We Christians, have a God who is not just one God but three Gods and only one God all at the same time.  Our reading to-day talks about this three person God who is there to help us all the time.   Now, this isn’t an easy concept so I thought I would share with you how I understand it.

I know this isn’t the whole story.  Hundreds of books have been written and scholars have spend lifetimes trying to explain it, but just like so much of creation and the complexity of God, so much is just beyond what my human brain is equipped to understand.  So here is MY explanation:

First, think about how many people you are.  For me, I am a daughter to my Mother.  I am a Mother to my children and Granny to their children.    I am a student at Wycliffe and a wife at home.  I wear different costumes in my different roles.  In my court robes I am a lawyer to my clients and this cross identifies me as a Dame to my fellow Templars (a Christian fellowship of good works).  And, here, at St Monica’s, In my alb I am your pastoral associate.  Depending on where and how you know me, you see me as a different person.  And depending on what role I am playing, I feel and act like a different person.  But there is only one me. 

The Trinity is something like that . . . and at different times and places we look to God and need God in different ways.

Jesus is the one most people pray to and most preachers talk about.  He told us “No one comes to the Father except through me”[1], He taught us how to pray and we know Him in his human form, as one of us. 

God the Father is the God we know best through the Old Testament, the Creator of all that there is, the fierce Defender of His People and the God of “Thou shalt not’s“.

And then there is the final arm of the triumvirate:  the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit.  The gift that comes with our baptism, the gift of God given to us when Christ left this earth, in some ways a guardian angel, the one who is always there with us and the nagging little voice that helps us do what we really ought to do, the One who is strong when we are weak. 

I must admit that for me it is the Holy Ghost that I turn to most often.  I even have a little centring prayer “Holy Spirit, abide with me”.  The Holy Ghost is just a great friend  . . . always there no matter the hour of day or where I might be.  To-day I want to share my friend with you.  And who doesn’t need a special friend?  

No one ever has a perfect life:  no matter how it may look from the outside to others.  Even the Queen had an entire year she called “annus horribilis” the HORRIBLE year.

  And don’t we all have “one of those days”, when nothing seems to go right?   The alarm doesn’t go off; there’s a spot on the shirt you were going to wear; you don’t have the right change for the streetcar and the sink is full of dirty dishes . . . just one of those days when you wish you could jump back into bed and pull the covers up over your head and not come out again until the world has managed to straighten itself out!

And then there are the truly deep problems that haunt sleep and sap our souls.  Broken relationships, not enough money, feelings of hopelessness, children in trouble, the lost job, depression, illness:  the list goes on.  Sometimes it isn’t a question of climbing back into bed:  it’s an inability to get out of bed at all. 

And just when everything seems darkest, when hope seems an impossible dream, help is at hand and it is so simple.

Now this may sound preachy, but it works.  You just hand it all over to God.  You tell Him, “This is too much for me.  I can’t cope.  I can’t find any answers.  Let me turn this all over to you.  I can’t solve the problem.  My child’s troubles, or my dying Mother or my own loneliness.  Please take this all onto YOUR shoulders.  Mine are too slight.

And the strange and wonderful thing is, it works!  When I first heard about this I was so skeptical.  I thought, maybe it works for the gullible, or for people who don’t have real problems.  But it wouldn’t work for me.  My problems are real.

But the idea was planted in the back of my brain, just as I’m hoping to do for you this day. 

Because one day, when I was just beside myself with worry and didn’t know how to help someone I loved who was self-destructing, it came back to me.  I was so unhappy and so worn out with despair that I thought, “what do I have to lose?” so I just turned it all over to God. 

The relief was immediate.  One minute I was so broken with worry and pleading, “I give up, please take this”, and the next minute the Holy Spirit had lifted the burden and was giving me a break.  Amazingly, after just a few days the problem became manageable and I could deal with it.  It’s like a vacation from your problems, it’s right there for the asking.  And that is the one thing God is waiting for:  just waiting for you to say, “Help . . . I need you”.

I feel like one of those “official spokesmen” that are always on TV urging you to try some product or another.  Except I’m here peddling the Holy Ghost.  But do try talking to Him.  Next time the world seems too much . . . just turn it all over to Him and see what the love of God the Holy Ghost can do for you.




King James Version (KJV)

Romans - Chapter 8

Rom 8:1

[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:2

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Rom 8:4

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:5

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Rom 8:6

For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.

Rom 8:7

Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Rom 8:8

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 8:9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Rom 8:10

And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.

Rom 8:11

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.


[1]           John 14:6

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