Today is the Sunday of The Holy Trinity. The concept that our God is 3-in-1, or 1-in-3, is a doctrine which is gleamed from the Bible; throughout the Bible we see the person and work of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. How can this be? How can God be three persons in one? This is more than our minds can comprehend; the best thing to do is not to try to explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, but rather simply to proclaim it. A good example of the proclamation of the Holy Trinity is the Athanasian Creed, found on p. 54-55 of the Lutheran Book of Worship. When we proclaim God as a Triune God, we proclaim that He: created, redeemed, and sanctifies us; all three persons of the Trinity active in creation, redemption, and sanctification. Let’s look at the readings for this Sunday, and see God’s activity.
The First Reading is recorded in Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31. This in a poetic account of creation. Notice that it is God Who creates all that exists. Notice that the reading doesn’t say how God created, only that He created, and that there was rejoicing at what He created. When you contemplate creation, keep in mind that it is God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Who created. Our response? Praise!
Lord God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lead us to rejoice and sing with all of creation in Your wisdom and gift of the creation. Enable us to delight in and sing praises to You for the wonders You have made. Amen.
The psalm for today, Psalm 8, closely ties in with the First Reading. In this psalm, the psalmist is overwhelmed by the vastness and beauty of creation. What is the response? Humbleness at the seeming insignificance of humanity, but also a realization that we are to be stewards of creation. When the psalmist realizes humanity’s place in the creation, the psalmist is led to praise God!
The writer of Hebrews, chapter 2:5-18, points out that this psalm has its fulfillment in Jesus. As we read the psalm, think about Jesus and how the psalm is fulfilled in Him.
Holy God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to You be all praise and glory for the wonder and beauty of creation. Lord, we are humbled when we consider the vastness and intricacy of creation, yet You have given us the responsibility of stewardship of Your creation; enable us to be good stewards of creation, and by so doing, giving You all honor, praise, and glory. Amen
The Second Reading is recorded in Acts 2:14a, 22-36. This reading is part of the first Christian sermon. Pay close attention to Who is proclaimed in the sermon. Peter doesn’t talk about himself or the other disciples, he proclaims Jesus: Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection. Peter talks about the ancestor David, quoting from David’s words that his descendant (Who would be Jesus), is the One Who died, but Who was raised, not rotting in the grave as all others had. In the resurrection, God proclaimed Jesus as both Lord (God) and Christ (the long-awaited Messiah). Notice the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, received from the Father and poured out by Jesus on His followers; it is the Holy Spirit Who empowered the disciples to proclaim Jesus as both Lord and Christ.
Holy Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, keep us steadfast in the true faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, our Savior. Continue to empower us to proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation, and bring more and more to faith in Him. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in John 8:48-59. We look at time in a sequential or linear fashion: time moves through a sequence of events that are either past, present (happening now), or future (yet to happen). This text talks about time in a different way: time as moments that change the world. Jesus came to break the power of evil and death, which He will do in His death and resurrection. His adversaries in the text are stuck on linear time, and try to trap Him, but He will not fall into their trap, He will simply declare what is true: in Him evil and death are conquered, and that through faith, Abraham foresaw the time when God would accomplish His victory over sin, death, and the devil, causing Abraham to rejoice!
How could Jesus accomplish this? Vs. 58 is the key: Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM. Jesus is claiming the Name God uses for Himself in the Old Testament (see Exodus 3, especially vs. 14). Jesus can and will conquer His and our enemies of sin, death, and the devil because He is God in human flesh, God with us. Sin, death, and the devil will try to destroy Him in the crucifixion, but His perfect/sinless sacrifice for us will lead to the resurrection on the third day; God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, will use the means the forces and powers of evil try to use to destroy Jesus as the means to destroy themselves. Jesus is risen! Sin, death, and the devil are defeated! Thanks be to God!
God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all thanks and praise be to You for defeating sin, death, and the devil in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Let us rejoice that by grace through faith, Jesus’ victory is our victory, given in Baptism and kept by faith. Amen.