Assigned Scripture Lessons:
- Isaiah 6:1-8
- Romans 8:12-17
- John 3:1-17
On Trinity Sunday, we sometimes spend far too much time trying to figure out how this whole Trinity thing works, when all we need to do is to do what Jesus has asked us to do, to start next door, and go as far as the world is wide, and welcome people into the kingdom of God, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them what he has taught us. Function is far more important than form.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth….and God saw that it was GOOOD!
I have experienced God as creator by accompanying my wife with the birth of our two children. There is nothing more humbling than to hold a baby who has just taken his or her first breath. And this week, I got to be part of planting some Tomato plants in our garden. I can’t wait for that first ripe tomato! All part of God’s creative power!
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This past week Tina and I mourned the passing of a good and faithful friend and member of the Edgeboro congregation, Joellyn Meehan. She lived a hard life raising her family and worked tirelessly to support them well into her 70’s even delivering papers until recently. But she would smile, and every Sunday, you can bet that she had a prayer request, not for herself, but for some mission group doing work in Africa that she was supporting. In these last years, her body looked very tired, but her spirit was young. And now, through Jesus Christ, she has tasted eternity. Good for Joellyn, and thank you, Jesus.
But the Advocate,* the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.
This past week, I encountered God as Holy Spirit as I worked with a husband and wife team in Hopedale, Labrador. This couple, who had been Christmas and Easter attenders at the Moravian Church there, have been transformed by the Ministry of a Moravian Bishop from Jamaica who went to Labrador in the summer of 2019 during his sabbatical. Two years later, even with Covid restrictions, they are studying to become the first native Labradorians to be ordained in over 15 years. I truly do believe that is the Holy Spirit at work.
Whether we know it or not, each one of us in the past week has encountered God as Creator, God as Redeemer, and God as Holy Spirit. Take some time today and think about it.
This week pastors across the country have been wringing their hands over this Sunday’s sermon. Do you know why? It’s Trinity Sunday. It is easy to preach Christmas, it is easy to preach Easter, it is easy to preach Pentecost – but it is hard to preach Trinity.
The Trinity, after all, is a theological concept; it is a method of trying to understand the great mystery of who God is. It is a theological concept that our early church fathers and mothers put together as they poured over the scriptures and saw how God had been encountered in the pages of scripture and even in their own lives. They looked at Jesus’ bold commission to his disciples in Matthew chapter 28 to go into all the world in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The concept of the Trinity is there – so this method of understanding God has its roots in the Biblical record. But it is impossible to have a relationship with a concept; it is not very meaningful to have a relationship with a method.
So while pastors across the country have struggled on how to preach this concept, how many faithful church attenders woke up this morning saying, “Wow, it’s Trinity Sunday; I can hardly wait to get to church and hear what the pastor has to say about the Trinity!”
Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark of the night; something was keeping him awake! He was a faithful religious leader, he was following the rules, but still, something was missing for him. Something was not complete. The rules just weren’t working anymore, and he saw something in Jesus that begged a deeper conversation. I think that he saw in Jesus someone who had a meaningful relationship with God.
But here, Jesus steers Nicodemus away from his preconceived notions about faith. Nicodemus was working with the assumption has been that right works make you right with God. If you follow the law, you earn your way into heaven. Here Jesus is teaching him that it is about a relationship. A relationship that makes you new! Just as if you were born from above, born for a second time, yes, born again.
So this is it:
God lovingly created each of you. God gave you the means of salvation, new life here, eternal life in the world to come. God comes to you each day in the power of the Holy Spirit, teaching, guiding, encouraging, stirring deep in your gut. Claim it! Claim all of who God is and allow your life to be transformed, renewed, and refreshed.
So today, step away from ideas, concepts, and methods and step into a personal relationship with the God of creation, the God that saves, and the God who daily sustains.