Trinity Sunday

Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

Welcome to our resources for Trinity Sunday – we hope it helps you to pray and worship wherever you may be.

Opening Hymn

Readings

Isaiah 40:12-17, 27-end (NLT)

12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
    Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
    or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?[c]
    Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
    Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
    or show him the path of justice?

15 No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests
    and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough
    to make a burnt offering worthy of our God.
17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him
    In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
    mere emptiness and froth….

27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NLT)

16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Homily

Trinity Sunday is always a tricky one to preach on as almost any analogy for the Trinity ends up being heretical in one way or another! The Christian understanding that God exits as Trinity, Father Son and Spirit is hard to explain because it is a mystery – but I suppose if we were able to explain God, then that would make us God! Sometimes the analogy of water is used, water can be frozen solid, liquid or evaporate as vapour into clouds -they are all the same substance, just different states – the difference with God being that God is all 3 persons of the Trinity, simultaneously all of the time!

I think perhaps the Christian understanding of prayer can be useful here: It has long been taught that we pray to God the Father, through God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit. Each part of the Trinity, each fully God. There might be times in our lives when we identify or communicate with one person of the Trinity more than another – don’t get hung up on this! If you struggle to relate to God the Father (or God Almighty, the creator) because of difficult family relationships of your own, that’s ok, if you find it easier to relate to God in the Person of Jesus, or to feel the peace of God the Holy Spirit that’s fine. All that is important is to recognise that the Trinity is mysterious, three Persons, one God.

Describing God has always been difficult, in the Jewish faith, the actual name of God is so holy it must never be spoken, but there are many other names attributed to God that describe God in different ways. There are a number of different bible verses that can help us to understand the Trinity as Christians. Think of the beginning of John’s Gospel, where the ‘Word’ from the Greek Logos better translated perhaps as Reason or Understanding is used as a name for Jesus…

‘In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,[a]
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.’

Here we have Jesus present at the Creation with God, as God. Or perhaps we might think of the beginning of Genesis:

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.’

It is clear from this that God the Holy Spirit was present at creation. We see the presence of God as Trinity in so many different ways and yet the majesty and mystery of God we struggle to communicate. I love that our reading from Isaiah attempts this. The writer reflects on the awesome majesty of God. And of course, this is so important. God is mysterious, and amazing, sometimes we can get so caught up with the business of life we forget this. Sometimes our image of God just isn’t big enough. The danger of a long life of faith is that God becomes familiar and looses some of this majesty. I like this quote from The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, as they tried to describe Aslan, the Lion who represents Jesus in the story:

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

We are always tempted to try and tame God, to make God safe. To fit God in a box that fits our understanding or our expectations, but of course God is much bigger. I wonder if that is our challenge for the week to come? To spend time reflecting on the majesty of God, whether that’s through the beauty of creation, or of music or art and to allow that draw us into worship. Because the greater our understanding of the majesty of God, the more we can be drawn into worship and the more the horizons of our faith will expand.

Prayers

Where there is conflict between nations and within nations;
where people live in fear of the bullet and the bomb;
when parents weep for children who have been killed:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

In homes filled with anger, cruelty and neglect;
where there are no safe places;
where poverty and addiction bring suffering and pain:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

To those whose minds are tormented by depression;
to those whose hold on life is fragile;
to those whose lives are filled with stress:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

To those who are nearing the end of life;
to those who love and care for them:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

May your peace be known to us,
and may we be bearers of your peace in our world.
Amen.

(from rootsontheweb.com)

Closing Hymn


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