One of my favorite things about being at summer camp was listening to the wind blowing through the pines. Sometimes it was gentle and soothing; while at other times it would howl as a storm would come through the camp. Strangely, the wind itself wasn’t making the noise. This past week I was on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina near an area called Pea Island. There it seems that the wind never stops, and the effects on the landscape are quite breathtaking. Some other images that you see every day in the OBX are kites and the sails of the wind surfers.
This week we move from the celebration of Pentecost to Trinity Sunday. From an event that was difficult to describe and understand; to a doctrine of the church that is usually described in ways that are simplistic and heretical, and never really capture what it is. It is probably the most difficult doctrine to describe and understand. My favorite of these inaccurate descriptions of the Trinity is through the concept of the element of water - solid (ice), liquid (water), gas (steam) - different yet the same… And yes, that will be as far as I go in trying to explain the doctrine of the Trinity.
Today our gospel lesson is the story of Nicodemus going to Jesus at night and asking him questions - questions about things he didn’t understand. It is pretty clear from this story that Nicodemus didn’t want others to know that he was speaking to Jesus; and I’ll guess that as a leader he didn’t want others to know that he also didn’t understand Jesus’ teachings.
I too have many questions - some I’m sure I’d prefer to ask under the cover of darkness. We never know what Nicodemus understands, if he has more questions, and even if he believes what Jesus is telling him. Maybe this is the most important thing - that there is always mystery, that there is another question, and that we keep seeking to understand.
‘You hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going.’ John 3:9