St. Matthew.jpg

The Father's Smile

Matthew 28:16-20

The Rev. Jon Roberts

15 June

2014

Calvary Episcopal Church

Indian Rocks Beach, FL

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

The Trinity by unknown artist

The Father is with us
a long, long while,
As long as we cherish His beautiful smile. [1]

On this Father’s Day we can see His smile.
Once upon a time a little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him.

The boy was delighted! They sat all afternoon eating and smiling, but never said a word. As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

God continues to surprise us today. There are three words in our Collect for this day worth mentioning. They are: Trinity, Majesty & Unity. That is the surprise we find today. We are surprised because we believe the journey to meet God is a long way ahead when actually it’s just a walk in the park. We use the word “Trinity” to understand there are three persons whom we meet every Sunday. Every time we cross ourselves we acknowledge them. They are (making the sign) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One is the old man, the other the young boy and the Holy Spirit…well maybe this person is somehow found in the smile. The story is a good one in that the three exchange and give to one another to be perfectly complete. This exchange expresses their Trinity. The Majesty can be traced by studying our readings today” Remember I will be with you always, even to the end of this age,” says Jesus.[2]

The architects or our lectionary prefaced his creative act, to commission the disciples to go forth and make disciples as a means of multiplication. This gives joy to the young men as they discover the beauty of transforming lives by spreading the good news; like sharing some chips and a root beer with a stranger in the park. The preface, longer reading from the first chapter of Genesis illustrates the Father’s creative will to bring life into the world.[3] You can sense His own good pleasure as He reveals the youthfulness of new creation. Teaming fish and flying birds, He admires in the park. This is revisited in our Canticle where God beholds the ocean’s depths and the high vaults of heaven. Glory and Majesty are found in the creative acts of God.

The Unity is found through what St. Paul refers to as, “A Holy Kiss” or in our case a “Holy Smile.”[4] It’s our way to exchange God’s Holy Spirit and be in complete union with fellow believers in Christ. As the cross is the symbol of our mutual exchange of love, we surprised to see the love of God in something so hideous; something that takes away our own pain. Death was conquered and now we run home, overcome with joy.
This rite of passage has led us to the Father. It has made a long journey short.
Through the cross we find the Trinity.
Through the Resurrection we find the Majesty.
Through a Holy Smile we find the Unity.
All of such refers us to the Father and remember,

The Father is with us
a long, long while,
As long as we cherish His beautiful smile.

[1]The Rev. Jon Roberts
[2] Matthew 28:16-20
[3] Genesis 1:1-2:4
[4] 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

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