Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worship for Trinity Sunday - 2011

Thursday after Pentecost
June 16, 2011

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the First Sunday after Pentecost, which is always the Festival of the Holy Trinity. It also happens to be Father’s Day. For our liturgy we will be using the third setting of the morning service, with some twists. One “twist” will be the use of the Athanasian Creed instead of the Nicene Creed. Another “twist” will be the congregation joining me in portions of the liturgy which normally I am the only speaker. For example, the collect for the day will be printed in the bulletin and the congregation will pray out loud with me instead of silently with me. We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. You may prepare by reading the appropriate sections of Luther’s Small Catechism. Because this is a Communion Sunday, and because we are adding one additional hymn in honor of the day, there will be seven hymns Sunday.

The appointed lessons are Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Acts 2:14a, 22-36; Matthew 28:16-20. Even without opening their Bibles most Christians know what these passages are about. The opening hymn will be “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” (LSB 802); the hymn to the Trinity will be “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” (LSB 940); the sermon hymn will be “Glory Be to God the Father” (LSB 506); the distribution hymns will be “All Glory Be to God on High” (LSB 947); “O Blessed, Holy Trinity” (LSB 876), “O Day Full of Grace” (LSB 503); our closing hymn will be “Almighty Father, Bless the Word” (LSB 923).

The sermon is titled “Order Created, Order Restored.” The text will be Genesis 2:1.

The following video is of our opening hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” It includes the words so you can sing along.

Our Sunday morning adult Bible study is continuing its study of the Gospel of Matthew. We will are in the Sermon on the Mount. Our Education Hour begins at 9:00 AM and everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Genesis 1:1-2:4a: This is the account of the creation of all things. In case you never noticed it before, the Bible actually presents the story of the very early days of creation from two perspectives. This reading is the big sweeping picture. Starting in chapter 2 verse 4, the Bible gives a narrow view focused on the creation of humanity. In these notes I can only hit some highlights from the reading. The word translated “God” is, in Hebrew, Elohim. Elohim is a plural, grammatically requiring plural verbs. However the Hebrew text uses singular verbs with Elohim. This reflects the Trinity, One God in Three Persons. The Trinity is also seen in the Spirit of God “hovering over the face of the waters” and the agent of creation being God’s Word (verse 3) (see John 1:1-17). Another thing to note is how God is always saying the creation is good. Sometimes people, who think of themselves as spiritual, disrespect the creation as evil/bad/whatever. God disagrees with them. Sure sin has entered the world and corrupted things (see Genesis 3) but there is nothing innately bad or sinful about the physical creation. In deed, on the Last Day, we will be raised with physical bodies and there will be nothing bad about them. One might also note that if being physical was, in and of its essence, sinful, then Jesus could not have been perfect. Another thing about everything being created good that we might miss is that the idea that evil is eternal or that the devil is somehow an evil equal to God is bogus. We also see God creating everything out of nothing. Only God is truly eternal with no beginning and no end.

Acts 2:14a, 22-36: This is the concluding portion of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. The Trinity comes through especially clear in verse 33 where Peter says, [Jesus] “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing”. It is well worth noting that, while we most often speak of Jesus as our Savior, actually all Three Persons of the Godhead are involved in our salvation. Peter’s message also accents that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection occurred according to the will of God the Father. There are those who think that Jesus came the first time to set up a geo-political kingdom but that he failed in this effort. The Church and salvation by grace through faith are some sort of emergency plan thrown together at the last minute by God. I suggest that people who think this way read Peter’s sermon. If they don’t change their minds, then they should read it again. They should keep reading it until words like “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” and how Peter can quote David as speaking of Jesus sink in.

Matthew 28:16-20: This is the quintessential “Trinity passage.” Of course it is also the quintessential “Baptism passage.” These verses contain “The Great Commission.” Some say Jesus never accepted worship from his followers. They should read verse 17. Some say Jesus was not divine. They should read verse 18 and 20. Some say baptism isn’t important. They should read verse 19. Some say outreach to the lost is unimportant. They should also read verse 19. In reference to the Trinity, we have a big tip off to the equality within the Trinity in verse 19. We are to baptize in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. If the Three Persons in the One Godhead were not One, then the word should have been “names.”


• Information for the July newsletter is due Sunday

Well, I pray I will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Pastor John Rickert

    On the subject of the Trinity,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

    The video also addresses Gen 1.1 and the word Elohim.
    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor