Message for Trinity Sunday 2010

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Today is the Trinity Sunday. The Holy Trinity is one of the most difficult doctrines to explain and because it is so complicated, sermons about this topic tend to be real snoozers. It happens because the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is a mystery, it has a touchy-feely quality to it, and we tend to treat it as something that can be explained scientifically.

 

 

 

 

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The Holy Trinity is NOT a puzzle for us to solve.

 

 

Instead, the Holy Trinity is a love story that God invites us to live.

 

clip_image006In Genesis 1:27 we hear, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NIV).

 

 

 

 

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Have you ever wondered, “How is God’s Triune nature evident in us — God’s human children?” After all, if we are created in the image of God, and God has a Triune nature (creator, redeemer, and sustainer or spirit), that Triune nature has to manifest itself in our lives somehow.

 

We are wonderfully complicated creatures. Humans are capable of producing the most aesthetically pleasing and functional works of art and engineering. Humans are also capable of orchestrating the most terrible atrocities. When we look at the intricacies of our interactions with each other, the complexity of our environment, and the differences in our personalities, it is easy for us to concentrate on the minutia and miss the big picture.

 

Yet it is in these intricacies, complexities and differences that God’s Triune nature manifests itself in our lives.

 

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On our life’s journeys, we face various milestones. I have heard it said that every man [or woman] comes as a novice to each stage of life.

 

{Illustration} For example, being a high school student is very different from being a kindergarten student, although both involve learning and growing, both emotionally and spiritually. Although both are very creative professions, being an engineer is very different from being a musician. {/Illustration}

 

Just like our God who “was hovering over the surface of the deep” (Gen 1:2) and who created the whole Universe out of nothing, we hover over the blank slate that is our future. We dream of new possibilities and new outcomes, and these are the building blocks that create our lives. Every stage of our lives brings with it new possibilities (new “deep waters”) and out of all these possibilities we build the components of our lives (our personal universe). As we journey through our lives, these components make up a narrative of our life. God gave us generative abilities to build our lives out of the basic building blocks that He created “in the beginning” (Gen 1:1). This is how the “creator” God lives in us.

 

clip_image012We do not live in a vacuum. We live among friends and neighbors. We need to interact with others. God assumed human form and Jesus came into our world to do just that, to interact with us in order to bring God’s grace to us, and to be our savior. He is our example of what God had in mind when he created humans and what kind of society God was hoping to build. Each of our lives has a component of public life, a public persona that defines how we interact and influence others. Jesus gave us an example of how to be the best person that we can be, and God uses us, God uses us to bring this saving grace to those around us. This is how the “savior” God lives in us.

 

 

 

clip_image014Every one of us also has a “spirit” that is defined by who we are. Do you project happiness or confidence? Do you walk around with a frown plastered on your face? Are you easy to work with? Do you insist that you are always right? Do you smile? Do you like to laugh? Do you talk more than you listen? Do you even know how to listen? Do you like to learn new things? Are you interested in all things mechanical? Do you prefer to work with animals? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Just like the Holy Spirit tugs on our heats, our personal spirit tugs on the hearts and souls of those we interact with. Sometimes we bring happiness into other’s lives, and sometimes… well… you get the picture.

 

So what’s in it for us? What can we take out of all of this, and how can we apply all it to our lives?

 

clip_image016The image of God the Parent that we reflect helps us to build the components of our lives out of the basic building blocks that God created “in the beginning” (Gen 1:1).

 

The image of God the Son that we reflect helps us to interact with each other, and helps us to work towards what we believe to be a righteous and just society.

 

The image of God the Holy Spirit that we reflect infuses our immediate surroundings with the essence of who we are. The image of God the Holy Spirit inside of us tugs on the hearts and minds of those around us affecting their actions.

 

The combination of these three images of God in our lives [OR ASPECTS of our lives] makes an image of God that we reflect and project on the world around us. Being created in God’s image means that we are created with:

  • The ability to love;

  • The ability to enjoy and appreciate beauty. In the process of recognizing the aesthetic quality of our world, and striving to bring beauty into our lives, we catch a glimpse of God creativity;

  • The ability to experience emotions and feelings;

  • The ability to imagine things and to understand abstract concepts. As we explore the natural world, we understand better how our world and universe is made, and in the process we gain better understanding of the mind of the Creator;

  • The ability to feel sadness and sorrow (Gen 6:6 “God was sorry that he created men and he was grieved in his heart”), to recognize when we make mistakes and to self-correct (The Flood, Life and Death of Jesus);

clip_image018The doctrine of the Holy Trinity has many implications. The question, “What is the Holy Trinity about?” has many answers. One of the answers is: “The Holy Trinity is about reconciliation; reconciliation between God and God’s human children that will result in productive and meaningful lives if we are willing to embrace it. When we are not willing to embrace it, it can lead to destructive lives because we make a conscious choice to reject God’s presence in our lives.

 

When the Image of God that we reflect, the image of the Holy Trinity inside us, is in sync with the presence and mission of God in the world, we find peace and harmony. {Notice: it is not a promise of health and wealth… It is a promise of internal peace and eternal life} We engage in God’s mission and when we are with God all things are possible.

 

When the Image of God that we reflect, the image of the Holy Trinity inside us, is not in sync with the presence and mission of God in the word, we find ourselves frustrated, tired, bitter, and angry (i.e. Timothy McVey, uni-bomber, suicide bombers).

 

clip_image020Is the image of the Holy Trinity in your life in sync with what you believe to be God’s mission in today’s world? How does your life reflect and project our Triune God: God the Parent, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Do others, looking at you, see something they want to be a part of?

 

 

{Open the Altar}

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