The Feast of the Holy Trinity; Year A (6/11/2017)

Lessons:
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2nd Corinthians 13:11-13
St. Matthew 28:16-20

Prayer of the Day:
God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and the beginning of time you are the triune God: Author of creation, eternal Word of salvation, life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may proclaim all that Christ has revealed and rejoice in the glory he shares with us. Glory and praise to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

28.16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 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 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

St. Matthew 28:16-20, New Revised Standard Version Bible (C)1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Mystery and Majesty

This coming Sunday is “The Feast of the Holy Trinity” in the Christian calendar. It is a day when we lift up the ancient belief that our God is one, and that our God is three. The Word Trinity is found nowhere in our Bible. It is a word that the church created years after the Bible was written. In a time when believers were arguing whether God was “one being” or “three beings,” Trinity — combined of “tri” for three, and “unity” for one — professes the belief that God is not one or the other. God is both. (So, in one of my favorite elusive answers, when asked, “Is God three or is God one?” the correct answer is: “No.”)

So what does this mean? There have been many clever attempts to answer this question. God is like water (a gas, a liquid, or a solid — depending on the temperature). God is like me (a dad, a pastor, a husband — depending on who is describing me). God is like an apple (with skin, fruit, and core). But ultimately, each of these attempts falls short of capturing the essence of God’s nature. The Trinity is not a logical proposition to be understood. In truth, it is a mystery to be embraced.

Now by mystery we do not mean something that is lurking behind the reality of our experiences — a “god however you choose to imagine it.” But instead, a God who meets us concretely and specifically in the bread, the wine, the water, the proclamation of the word, the power of the gathered community, the continued presence of the risen Christ, the beauty of a Colorado sunset, the comfort of the faith in a difficult time… The mystery of the Trinity is that as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God has chosen to love us with a deep and powerful love. There aren’t words adequate to describe what this means. But there are testimonies of how this reality has claimed the lives of believers throughout the years, and has shaped their existence.

This Sunday we celebrate a God who is shrouded in mystery; yet at the same time a God who has chosen to reveal a great love for us. God has loved us by creating us and all that exists. God has loved us by offering the greatest gift there is — life itself — that our sins might be forgiven and our relationship with God might be restored. God has loved us by comforting us, strengthening us, empowering us, and supporting us in every time of need. Through this love we are called into a holy relationship with God. As we contemplate the Holy Trinity, may the Spirit help us to embrace the mystery, and celebrate the reality of a God who loves us this deeply.

God’s richest blessings to you, as you celebrate God’s presence in your life this Holy Trinity Sunday. May our attention to God’s presence in our lives help us to appreciate what God has done for us, and how God might speak through us to touch the lives of others.

Amen.

David J. Risendal, Pastor

Exploring This Week’s Gospel:

  1. Which passages in the Bible have inspired me as I’ve considered God the Creator?
  2. Which passages in the Bible have inspired me as I’ve considered God the Savior?
  3. Which passages in the Bible have inspired me as I’ve considered God the Sustainer?

Connecting with This Week’s Gospel:

  1. What puzzles me most about God’s nature?
  2. If a young child asked me what the word “Trinity” means, how would I answer?
  3. Am I inclined to embrace the mysterious nature of God? Or do I want to “know” more about God before being able to be at peace with my faith?