Grace and Peace to you through God who creates, God the Son who saves, and God the Holy Spirit who enlivens us.
This will be my last email about our Sunday scripture lessons. These email reflections where posted on my blog site ruralminnesotaministry.blogspot.com.
My first blog post was on August 10, 2009. You can check it out here with all my typos (which continue to this day).
My third post was about being a Local Licensed Pastor and an Associate Member in the United Methodist church. Check it out here.
My first scripture commentary posted on my blog site happened a year later, on August 24, 2010. You can check that post out here.
My most read post was published in April 2017. Life and Death - questions was read by 163.
I started a weekly email ministry in my previous appointment. With nearly weekly posts, I have been at it for perhaps 15 years. This past year I have been recycling old posts (and cleaning the typos up). With the Lectionary readings built on a three year cycle it is hard to come up with anything fresh the third, fourth, fifth time around. Today, I will be recycling a post from May 2012.
Thank you for reading my weekly email reflections on our scripture lessons. For those who wandered over to my blog post thank you.
Beginning of June 4, I will be taking a 2 month sabbatical and I begin my ministry at Alexandria UMC on August 1. Cheryl and I will be moving to Alexandria after having lived in our house for 30 years. The process of moving is beginning to freak us out. Please pray for us.
During the sabbatical, my friend, retired ELCA clergy, Hollis Bishop will be leading worship at both churches. Then on August 1, your new pastor will begin serving. No, I don't know who it will be at this time. Please do everything in your power to support her/his ministry with you. New ideas and new ways of doing worship and ministry are a good thing so I ask your patience with your new pastor.
And, without further ado, our scriptures for this Sunday, Trinity Sunday.
This Sunday is a bit of an oddity in the life of the Church. We celebrate and learn about the Trinity of God. Of course, as I have said in past years, you won’t find the word “trinity” in the Bible. What you will find in the pages of the Bible is God who created all that is seen and unseen; God who became a human like us and is both fully human and fully God (“God Incarnate” is the churchy phrase); and God who comes to us and is present with us as Spirit (breath-wind). This is God: One and yet Three; Three and yet always One. Think of Trinity as Three (tri) in Unity (-nity). This is always confusing and is a mystery. Not everything in faith can be reduced to logical explanations As I once said to a friend, paraphrasing Spock from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, “It has been and always shall be a mystery”.
Without a whole lot of discussion, our readings are:
Isaiah 6:1-8 – Isaiah’s vision of the Lord sitting on a throne and then being commissioned (or is it “ordained”) to be a prophet.
Psalm 29 – The voice of God, the LORD, is mighty, powerful, and “flashes forth flames of fire”. The voice is over the waters, thundering over the waves. The voice breaks the cedars and shakes the wilderness. We are called to say “Glory” and pray for God’s blessing of peace.
Romans 8:12-17 – The Spirit leads us as the children of God and the Spirit bears witness (along with our own spirits) to the fact that we are indeed the children of God. The fact that we are now the children of God makes us heirs (with our brother Jesus) to God’s Life.
John 3:1-17 – Jesus has a discussion with Nicodemus about being “born again” or “born from above”. Of course this passage has the famous John 3:16 but please pay close attention to 3:17 in which the Son of Man came not to condemn but to save. If you keep reading through verse 21, the judgment and condemnation comes from ourselves.
It seem that none of these passages deals with the Trinity but only one of the three. Isaiah is about God, Romans is about the Spirit, and John is about the Son. So check out these verses: John 14:15-17; John 14:26; John 15:26, and John 16:12-15.
Have a wonderful week. If I don't see you in church this week or next, it has been a pleasure to serve you as the pastor of your church. Grace and Peace to you and your families.