Trinity Sunday

Readings for  Holy Trinity Sunday 

Genesis 1:1–2:4a  God creates the world through his Word

1 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.bible

 2 The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” Together these made up one day.

6 And God said, “Let there be space between the waters, to separate water from water.” 7 And so it was. God made this space to separate the waters above from the waters below. 8 And God called the space “sky.” This happened on the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear.” And so it was. 10 God named the dry ground “land” and the water “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And so it was.    12 The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 This all happened on the third day.

14 And God said, “Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years. 15 Let their light shine down upon the earth.” And so it was.

16 For God made two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater one, the sun, presides during the day; the lesser one, the moon, presides through the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the heavens to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 This all happened on the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth.” 23 This all happened on the fifth day. 

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal—livestock, small animals, and wildlife.” And so it was. 

25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And God saw that it was good.  

26 Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life—the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.”

27       So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.  28 God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.

Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.” 29 And God said, “Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was. 31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.

2 1So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day, having finished his task, God rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.  4 This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth.

 John 1:1~14 God reveals his Word as Jesus

1 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. …

9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  …

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Matthew 3:16-17  Baptism of Jesus witnesses the Trinity

16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” [1]

Matthew 28:16-20  Our Baptism witnesses the Trinity

16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [2]

 

2 Corinthians 13:11-13  Apostolic Blessing witnesses the Trinity

11 Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet each other with Christian love.

 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. [3]

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed., Mt 3:16–17). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed., Mt 28:16–20). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed., 2 Co 13:11–14). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 

Sermon for Holy Trinity  Sunday  

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David:0414521661

The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.   Let’s  join in a word of  prayer: Loving triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, today, in  our homes and small groups, we gather to worship You and to celebrate with great joy the gift of the revelation of Your presence in our world.  Guide us today that we may share the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as our Saviour and embrace your plan for our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Gracious triune God, hear our prayer for the sake of our risen Lord and Saviour,  Amen.

The Psalmist  witnesses to our desire to praise the Lord our God,    ‘I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.  I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.  Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.    I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. [1]

Luke writes in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, that after the day of Pentecost, ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common. … Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ [2]

While these believers praised the Lord at all times, and constantly spoke of his praises, the Lord was adding to their number daily those who were being saved.  I am certain that it was the praise and passion of the believers for Jesus Christ which invited the power of the Holy Spirit to work in their community.  And the Kingdom of God was extended among their neighbours.

 I am also certain that it was the passion of the believers for their relationship with each other that brought them together.  And they shared with each other the Lord’s greatness and exalted his name together with glad and sincere hearts.   That it was the praise they shared which freed them from all their fears and replaced the shame of the cross with the radiance of joy in the resurrection that could not be suppressed.

It was a choice they made to live with praise on their lips and sincere smiles on their faces.  Rather than continue living in the captivity of drudgery.  It remains a choice for every Christian and every Worshipping Community whether we adopt an attitude of praise or just continue to be satisfied with the hard slog.   Today this challenge becomes mired in isolation from COVID, but this challenge is overcome with a choice to hold onto our faith, with hearts joined with praise of our Saviour.

But we should be prepared for the joy and the unity that active praise results in.  And we should be prepared to make our praise personal.  Nobody can praise God for someone else. Here in Port Macquarie, with our unity of praise, even in our isolation we are joined together.  But if we resist the attitude of praise, it is possible that we will remain alone, even after we are reunited in Congregation worship.  We can be surrounded by people who are praising God, but if we aren’t allowing the Holy Spirit guiding us in the exaltation, our Lord will be denied of the glory He deserves from each of us.

This is because we all praise Him uniquely, with our own style, our own voice, our own actions expressing our unique attitudes. Our praise is built on our own unique circumstances.  As David proclaims in the beginning of Psalm 34 ,   ‘I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.’  And yet, our personal praise is joined in a symphony of praise that is pleasing to our Father in heaven. 

We should be prepared to make our praise a prayer.   We express and grow our relationship with God our Father, our Saviour, and our Comforter through dialogue in prayer.  It’s like my relationship with my dearest Sherry.  She knows that I love her. But I have a sense that she wants to hear me to say it, even though she already knows I love her.  It seems to me that is how it is with our God.

We should also be prepared to praise God continually.  Praise that will become second nature to transform our lives. Praise in good times and bad.  When we are celebrating life and when we are challenged by life. As David wrote, ‘let all who are helpless take heart.  Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.’   Praise the Lord!

The world will tell us that it just isn’t natural to praise God in every circumstance of life.  And that’s true, it’s not natural, it’s supernatural.  With God, all things are possible, and God created us in his image, to accept the supernatural, to expect his power revealed in our lives.

We should be prepared to be filled with the desire to praise God with joy in our heart.   As David wrote, ‘He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.’  Praise leads us to victory over all that holds us back from experiencing life more abundantly than we can imagine now.  Both for ourselves individually, and also for our Worshipping Community.  When we look beyond ourselves to praise God our Father, we gain a perspective of living in the victory we seek.

It’s like the little girl staying with her grandmother overnight. On one wall was a mirror and on the other a picture of Jesus. Laying in bed the little girl could see in the mirror the reflection of Jesus. She wanted to see the picture better but rather than move toward the picture, she moved toward the mirror, but as she did she got in the way of the reflection and couldn’t see it. Her grandmother asked what she was doing. “I’m trying to see Jesus, but I keep getting in the way!”  When we trust in Jesus Christ, God sees us, but Jesus shines through our eyes and hearts.

We should be prepared to be changed by the praise we offer to God.  Sometimes when we turn our eyes to Christ Jesus with praise in our hearts whatever is troubling us will change.  But sometimes something even better happens – God’s Holy Spirit changes us.   

God doesn’t need our praise. Jesus knows that we need to praise Him, we need to trust Him more and rest in Him and lean on Him. We need to look to Him and He knows it.    

Dr. David Osborn at Denver Seminary once wrote, “Too often we try to use God to change our circumstances, while He is using our circumstances to change us.” (Compass, April 2003)

You see, God is right now in the process of making us like Christ.  More than just the image of God in which we were created.  God reveals himself clearly as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus describes in Matthew.    And David seems to have understood this even before the first advent of Christ Jesus into humanity. 

David chose two triangles inverted upon each other to build the six sided star of his signet. I was once told by a Jewish friend not to put too much into the shape of his signet.  That it was just an easy symbol to make.  But I received an inspiration and I am convinced that the first triangle represents the trinity of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The second triangle representing trinity of man, body, soul and spirit.   Each side of each triangle can be taken on its own, but is incomplete.  Christ Jesus is the only one who encompasses the fullness of both the divinity and humanity represented in the Star of David.  And God’s Holy Spirit is busy with the process of making us more and more like Christ Jesus. 

A process that will only end when we receive our inheritance of the Kingdom of God in eternity with our friend, Saviour, and Lord, Jesus Christ.  A process that will incorporate praise of our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that will linger in our soul and on our lips throughout all eternity.   And ‘no shadow of shame will darken our faces.’

The beautiful thing is that God wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us, here and now.  The same intimacy with you and me that he has within himself.   Jesus said “Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (Jn 14:19 NIV)

The grace and peace of our Triune God, keep your hearts and minds in our living Lord, Christ Jesus, as we praise God our Father and live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Rev David Thompson.

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed., Ps 34:1–5). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ac 2:42–47). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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