Awesome Threesome

THE PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

We approach God’s Word and pray that the Holy Spirit, will open our lives to encounter the Living Christ. Join me in a moment of prayer.

O God, Creator of all, in these few moments of worship, we come to you with the words and works, the desires, and hopes, and fears. We come to give thanks in all things; to seek new perspective, to find new strength. Jesus, Son of God, help us today to find our hearts burning –with a fiery love and devotion to you, so that, kneeling at your feet, we hear the tender whisper of your call. Holy Spirit, Wind of God, open our minds to learn from Christ, that in listening we might hear, and in hearing we might respond, as he invites us, to come, and die, and live. Amen.

THE FIRST SCRIPTURE              Isaiah 6:1-8                            A Vision of God in the Temple

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple.  Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.  The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”.

May the Lord bless this Holy Word to our understanding.

TIME WITH GOD’S CHILDREN#525 “This Little Light of Mine”

SECOND SCRIPTURE READING          Romans 12:9-16         Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;  love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.   Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

 

THE SERMON           “Awesome Threesome”     

As I thought about Trinity Sunday, an annual tribute to the Triune God, I wrestled with how to bring new understanding to our fundamental conviction that makes Christianity unique on the world stage. We use language in our attempt to capture the reality of our God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. The God who created us in our mother’s womb, redeemed us from our sin, and sustains our lives as we live by faith.  Traditionally, we relate to God our Heavenly Father, the Son our Savior, and the Holy Spirit who empowers our Christian activity.

I struggled with touching this theological concept that we readily accept but at times find it difficult to explain the details in human language. We discover that the more we study the Trinity, the less we completely comprehend the magnificent, intricate, and unique nature of our God. We find passages in Scripture that teach us truth, we read theological explanations that give us perspective, and even search some philosophy to deepen our understanding of the God of the Universe. Yet, still we do not fully apprehend the deep and profound aspects of the God who desires to have a special relationship.

So I explored special trio relationships:

-         The Three Stooges – Larry, Moe and Curly

-         The Three Tenors- Domingo Carreras and Pavarotti

-         The Andrews Sisters -  LaVerne, 'Maxene', and 'Patty'

-         The Marx Brothers - Chico, Harpo, and Groucho

-         The Magi with three gifts – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

-         The Three Amigos - Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short.

-         The Three Musketeers - Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

Unfortunately, these are all three different people. None fully describe the special relationship within the Godhead, three distinct persons yet one essence. Three expressions of one substance intertwined and comingled.  The perfect harmony blended together as one voice. A trio of comrades works together for the same purpose. They move forward as one force. The whole body of God working together to create the universe, redeem sinners, and sustaining believers to live an abundant, joyous, and fulfilled life.

One might look at a person’s different roles in life. I’m a son, a husband, and a father.  I serve as a pastor, preacher, and counselor. Each of us holds different roles depending on our relationship to the other person with whom we are currently in a relationship. We serve as a colleague, boss, and subordinate, depending on our part in the organization. But our roles can change several times a day depending on the who else enters the room.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked together to create everything in all Creation. The Triune God worked through the cross of Calvary to restore our relationship with our Creator, who has been from the beginning. All Spiritual power proceeds from One God to the ends of the earth for all time. We came into being because the Triune God breathed life into us. We fall short of God’s intention, but though the Holy One’s love, we receive forgiveness. All that we do in Christ’s name happens because the Spiritual power inspires us.

I’ve heard people who give up on faith because that cannot comprehend the Trinity. They cannot wrap their minds around the three distinct natures of God. Or they wonder how Jesus can be involved in Creation and yet be born in a manger and how Jesus ascends into heaven and still speaks to our hearts. Muslims think Christians worship three gods, instead of One God, because we recognize the three natures of God. Or people think of a linear time when God created and then rested until Jesus came, and finally the Spirit continues.

God lives beyond our three dimensional world. God existed before the heavens and the earth were created. There is never a time when all three aspects of God were not revealed in Scripture. Multiple times, we can see the Triune nature of God. A Tri –Unity working together. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We worship the greatness of God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ and witnessed by the Holy Spirit. Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts.

Both the Old and New Testaments affirm that there is only ONE God – not multiple Gods.  Yahweh insists that He is the one and only Creator, Savior, and Giver of Life. All three persons –think, act, speak, direct, make judgments, love, are grieved as we remain in relationship with our God.  Jesus claimed to be God come in the flesh who dwelt among us. The Holy Spirit is referred to as God in both Testaments.

The early Christian Church believed in and taught the doctrine of the Trinity. While the word Trinity does not exist in the New Testament writings, the individual attributes of the Triune God appear together several times. The early church “creeds” – the Apostles and Nicene Creed set to explain in human language our experience of God’s nature. Christians believe in one God, manifested in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God created us, saved us, and with always be with us.

God calls us to become who the Creator designed us to be. God will forgive us when we wander from that design. We can only move forward toward God’s design when we allow the Spirit to work in our lives, our hearts, and our relationships. God loves us and wants us to share that awesome love to others. When Christians abide with the Awesome Threesome, we stand in amazement of the wonderful God we serve. We possess a love to overcome the hate and evil in our world. Christians hold onto the goodness of the Gospel. The Spirit continues to inspire our zeal for serving the Lord our God as pray for the needs of others and our world. We support the ministry of reconciliation and extend hospitality to strangers until they become friends.

We can even do difficult tasks like loving the unlovable, blessing those who persecute us and don’t like us very much. We can live in harmony even when we disagree. In Christian love we can be patient with others and wait for the Lord to move us closer. Christians worship an Awesome Threesome, who helps us live in mutual affection beyond our human understanding. So let us rejoice in the Triune God who gives us hope, love, and peace beyond our deserving.  TGBTG. Amen.

  May 2017  
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