Trinity Sunday

June 11, 2017

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.

When Susan was preparing the bulletin for this week, we commented on how long the first lesson was for this morning.  Why was it that the Church would choose to read the entire story of creation for Trinity Sunday? 

Surely it must be that new lectionary that we are using.  We complained a bit about the new lectionary, and then I was humbled as I looked in the Prayer Book lectionary to find that we would have read the same lesson with that lectionary as well.

Why do we read this big long lesson today of all days?  Certainly it seems to make sense to read it during the Easter Vigil.  We are recounting the history of salvation.  But why on Trinity Sunday? 

I came up with a reason.  Perhaps I am wrong, but I am going to share it with you anyway.  I believe that the story of creation helps us to understand the Trinity. 

When we read a litany, we often begin with “O God the Father, creator of heaven and earth…”  In this way we connect the Father with the act of creation.

But, in the lesson for the morning, we read:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters….”    In this way we understand that the Holy Spirit was also involved in the act of creation.

And yet, if we read the beginning of the Gospel of St. John we hear these words:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made…” 

This “Word”, or in Greek, Logos, which St. John is talking about, is Jesus – God the Son incarnate – or as St. John says “…and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”

This is what I am talking about when I said that reading the story of creation helps us to understand the Trinity.  Sometimes people like to try to assign jobs to the persons of the Trinity – Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.  But, the whole Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are involved in all of these actions.

I have just shown that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are involved in the act of creation.  The same is true
with the act of redemption.  The Father sends the Son to redeem us. 

And yet in the Bible we read that before the Son begins His earthly ministry He is baptized by St. John the Baptist and then, “The Spirit immediately (drives) him out into the wilderness.  And he (is) in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.”

Before the Son begins His earthly ministry, which culminates with His passion, death, and resurrection, He is driven into the wilderness to prepare.

All three persons of the Trinity are also involved in the act of sanctification.  To illustrate this, all I need to do is to turn to the Nicene Creed as the Western Church has said it for centuries.  In just a few minutes we will say “…I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son
together is worshiped and glorified…”

All three Persons of the Trinity are involved in the acts of creation, redemption, and sanctification.  This is because
together they are one God.  We believe in one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who creates, redeems, and
sanctifies.  And we are reminded of this truth today through the reading of the long lesson from Genesis about the
creation of the world.  AMEN.