A little Updike (and a little Monty Python) for Trinity Sunday

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event* a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

– John Updike, ‘Seven Stanzas at Easter’, in Telephone Poles and Other Poems (London: Andre Deutsch, 1964), 72.

* A little note: ‘The event’, of course, to which Updike here refers is, principally, ‘Jesus’ resurrection’; but because this particular resurrection is the event which is the Triune life itself, I see no reason to not allow these words to inform our ‘God-talk’. That thousands of sermons will be preached today that mock Updike’s critical and weighty point – and echo a word more like that of Monty Python’s Three-Headed Knight met by the brave Sir Robin – seems a good reason to repeat Updike’s point today. If, however, you happen to be one of those disoriented souls who happened to land on this post in search of a Pythonesque sermon on ‘the trinity’, and because you figure that Trinity Sunday is the day you better say something about this neglected ‘topic’, then here’s what you were looking for (and your congregation would be most grateful if you looked no further!):

Still, my recommendation is that you go with Updike, even if – and perhaps especially if – you dinnae hay a scoobie what he is trying to say. Happy Trinity Sunday.

2 thoughts on “A little Updike (and a little Monty Python) for Trinity Sunday

  1. Terrific! Apocryphal (?) stories of ministers pulling sickies on Trinity Sunday – it’s like a team that’s made the World Cup Final thinking, “Meh, let’s give it a miss.”

    Mind, you could also deploy the “Holy Grail” sketch as a hilarious critique of modern understandings of trinitarian personhood, or as an anarchic send-up of contemporary social doctrines of the Trinity, or as a black-comedic take on the so-called ethical implications of perichoresis with respect, say, to the ecclesial relations of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism.

    Thrice bless you!

    Like

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