Rowan-williams

Sermon for Trinity XX

Brother George preached this sermon for the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity:

We are indebted to Rowan Williams this morning. But first. Perhaps that wedding garment is our silence. Lately we have noticed silence on a few occasions. Yet there remains a chance that we wrongly interpret this silence. It maybe that (understanding our “being made” in the image of God) – means we see ourselves introspectively – as being in charge of our own souls as though we are uncreated – with the habit of looking inward, leading ourselves with an authority that we do not have. Unaware of sin – we become God.

Thanks be for some wise words of Rowan Williams (our former Archbishop).

He, Rowan Williams, takes off from St. Augustine. Augustine who in his “Confessions” – argues that man, made in the image of God, exhibits traces of the Holy Trinity – the Triad – of our Memory, Understanding and Will.

But this, Williams argues, is a smaller version of God – and he goes on, “A greater understanding of Augustine is of a related, relational nature”. His, Rowan Williams’ point, is that the true image of God is revealed in us only, only when the three moments of Memory, Understanding and Will have God as their meaning – their aim – their centre.

Being made in the divine image is not our mind’s self-relatedness – nor can it be. The human subject is not to know itself accurately if it does not know itself as, that which is, by the continual loving of God. Divine being is the life of giving to the other – and establishing the inherent patterns of relationship.

To see ourselves as acted upon by God is to know that we are known and loved by God.

In this knowledge we become wise – wisdom in the knowledge of what is eternal – and the eternal is the self-giving activity of God as Creator – as the giver of the justice and wisdom by which we come to share in the divine life.

This new found wisdom is to know the divine action in our own selves.

And Rowan Williams continues this theme of “relatedness” when we become conscious of a relation through the self-giving love of God, and in yielding ourselves to be known and loved by God.

We exist – we are at all – because God desires to impart his love. And, as loved creatures, is the only way of knowing ourselves truthfully.

© Br George