Sermon Notes- June 3, 2012 (Trinity Sunday)

Year B- Trinity Sunday

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29 (UMH 761)
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17

Trinity Sunday, the day for ministerial interns and associates to preach.  I don’t know know exactly why that is the case, but it happens more often than we are ready to realize.  Russell Smith, the Deacon at St. Andrew’s Episcopal, always gets the call from the bullpen on Trinity Sunday.  After this many years, he does it well with humor and thoughtfulness.  When I was an associate pastor, or youth director, I would get the call, and I would stumble through the holy mysteries of the Triune God with the same kind of clarity that I had with the 5 year olds talking about three leaf clovers and St. Patrick’s mission to Ireland.  I believe that preaching the Doctrine of the Trinity is more of a case of painting images and expressing metaphors than anything–because when we speak of the things deep and powerful, words will fail us more than pictures.

  • The lesson from the Hebrew Scriptures is a powerful one for the day, conjuring up the language of the old hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  It is the language of the holy mysteries of eucharist, and it is the language of God’s call on the prophet.  How else are we going to respond to the awe of God’s presence and power in our lives than to cry-HOLY.  I may focus on this lesson for the day, because it is close to my anniversary of being ordained–and on the second of those days, we sang the closing words of the lesson–“Here I am, Lord-send me.”
  • The Psalm is a song of awe and mystery to compliment the Isaiah passage.  The repetition of LORD in the Psalm is a reminder that God’s proper name is so holy that there is a note in the margins of the text that anytime you see the word “Yahweh” replace it with “Adonai” (LORD).  This God of mystery and awe cannot be named without a footnote and a less than adequate metaphor.
  • I have never really known what to do with the Romans passage on Trinity Sunday.  I don’t believe I have ever preached the text on Trinity Sunday, though i have certainly used this portion of the letter as reference in preaching and teaching for years.  The first lesson and the Gospel hold more water for me on this Sunday.  I think that the “spirit of adoption” and becoming “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” is a powerful concept that needs to be preached.  I will probably not get their on Trinity Sunday.
  • The Gospel Lesson is certainly a foundational scripture for the church.  The story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the dark, the call to be born again, and the miniature Gospel that was one of the texts in Lent.  Lots of depth in this selection.  “Being born of water and the Spirit” lends itself to proclaiming the mystery of our lives as those who were born of water and sealed with the name of the Holy Trinity at our baptism. Jesus’ teaching of earthly and heavenly things are brought into unity like the Trinity brings the fullness of God together as one.
  • Images and literature come together in this post from Debra Dean Murphy-The Trinity and The Shack
  • Hollywood Jesus –The Trinity in Pop Culture (also includes the text to the Athanasiun Creed)

 

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