Grace and Peace from God and Jesus Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit,
How’s that for a Trinitarian greeting. The Holy Trinity is not Biblical, per se, but grew out of an understanding that came because of believers’ experience of the presence of God in their lives. There is no Bible passage that lays out a doctrine of the Trinity; only a series of passages that point to it. Some of those passages are in this week’s lection on Trinity Sunday.
First, however, an announcement. Mike Turner, a local Browerville man who has had some success in Nashville and Southern California with his gospel singing and guitar picking will be with us once again this coming Sunday. You are invited to hear him at Peace United Church – South on Sunday, June 3, 2012, at 10:30 AM. A free will ministry donation will be taken to support Mike’s work.
Our readings this week are:
Isaiah 6:1-8 – The first person (the word “person” is far from accurate) of the Trinity is God. In Isaiah’s vision, he is taken to the throne room to meet God. (Again, “throne room” is not accurate for God does not live in a place. Just remember, this is a vision.) There are winged creatures that each have six wings, two of which cover their “feet” which many believe to be a euphemism for “genitals”. These creatures shouted/sung praises to God who is seated on the throne. Isaiah feels totally overwhelmed and unworthy but one of the creatures brings a burning coal, touches it to Isaiah’s lips to remove his sins. God needs a messenger and Isaiah volunteers. The rest of the chapter is God’s words against the people: because they won’t see make them blind and because they won’t listen make them deaf.
Psalm 29 – The psalmist calls on the heavenly creatures to give glory to God and then describes the power of God’s voice.
Romans 8:12-17 – The third “person” of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. In this short section of Romans Paul does not so much describe what the Spirit is as he describes the result of having God’s Spirit with us. The result of having the Spirit which God gave and Jesus sent is that we are God’s children. Yes, you and I are brothers and sisters and we have a brother in Jesus.
John 3:1-17 – The second “person” of the Trinity is Jesus. This passage is the first of three appearances of Nicodemus in the Gospel of John and it contains the most often quoted verse in the New Testament (if not the whole Bible): John 3:16. Throughout this passage it feels like Nick and Jesus are talking past each other. What does it mean to be born “anew” or “again” or “from above”? Nick thinks in physical terms which he knows to be impossible. Jesus is speaking in a new way of being in relationship to God. In an allusion to Numbers 21:9 Jesus says that his being “lifted up” will bring salvation to humanity. In a narrow sense this is a prediction of his crucifixion. In a larger sense it is about his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Now, as for verse 16, this has often been called the gospel in miniature. As a stand-alone verse, it is wonderful but I think it gets even better if it is read along with verses 17 and 18. God is not about judgment but salvation. We do the judging and we do it well. Those who follow God and Jesus are filled with God’s Spirit (love) and in turn love others as they are loved. This love is salvation and eternal life. Those who do not believe do not need to be judged by God for they have already judged themselves with the choice they made.
Have a wonderful week reading God’s Word and having the Word of Life fill you with love.