6/3/07, Trinity Sunday- Year C
“Three In One”
John 16: 12-15, 12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Ro. 5:1-5, Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
oday is Trinity Sunday which is observed every year on the Sunday after Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers completes the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is always a surprise to some who have forgotten that the term “Trinity” is never used, as such, in the Bible. However, as a theological doctrine it reflects the revelation of God as being three manifestations, but one God. All orthodox churches, which include ninety-nine percent, do believe in the Trinity, as did the early churches from the very beginning.
Our two texts (above) from the Lectionary, are just two of the many instances in the New Testament that reflect the Holy Spirit, “Three in One.” I have underlined the places where the Trinity is assumed: “God in three persons blessed Trinity,” As we sang in our opening hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Indeed, Christian Theology is not absolutely wedded to the term, “Trinity.” We sometimes use the synonym “Tri-Unity” which may be easier to comprehend. We preachers try to draw an analogy between the Three in One Godhead with other familiar things that are three in one. Clover usually has three leaves but on one vine: It is one, but with three distinct leafs.
C. S. Lewis reminds us that Christian Theology does not believe God to be an actual person. We believe Him to be Absolute and as such a trinity/unity of being is plausible but never totally comprehended by us. We might try thinking of God as a multiplicity of persons all in one person. One man can be a Dad, and continue to be a husband, a physician, a politician, a Braves fan, all at the same time. Right now you are thinking of me as your Pastor, but I am a Braves fan too.
There is a familiar PRODUCT named, ‘THREE IN ONE.” It is household oil that is three oils, but in one can. Indeed, on the back of the can, from my home, there are many pictures that illustrate it being used for squeaking hinges, office chairs, wheels, sewing machines and bicycles. I got started oiling my own bicycle as a small child. However, my mother would only use Singer oil with her Singer Sewing Machine. We all know that most things have more than one application. “WD-40” claims to have two thousand remedies for squeaky offices and houses. I even know one man who slicks his hair down with synthetic “WD-40.”
Closer to home we might point out that many of our church members have multiple roles around the church. Some sing in the choir and also serve on a committee. Mothers in the home have to become “multiple taskers” in order to juggle many tasks, all of them at the same time.
So, it is simple to translate God’s need to come alive in a baby in Nazareth. That baby was later crucified, and in that cruel tragedy, God’s Son died as a sacrifice for many. But soon the Holy Spirit came to live in the hearts of true believers. We can even go so far to say that when we humans are graced with the real presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts then there is a sense that we are emissaries of God. We become His hands and voices to preach the Gospel, teach others, build churches, lead in music, and fulfill scores of important jobs that keep the wheels oiled.
I recall several women and men who have said their calling was to cook meals for programs and meetings the church-- and thank God for them! So, let us go beyond just pledging our loyalty to the Trinitarian Doctrine, and claim our calling that the Spirit will give you Grace to fulfill.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor