It’s Trinity Sunday.

Are you experiencing the presence of the creator as Isaiah describes?

Are you listening to Jesus telling us how to be born from above, as Nicodemus did? Trinity

Or, like the Romans,  are you feeling the spirit of adoption?

Or are you going to cover all three in one sermon?

See what I did there?

Whether you’re going to preach about the Trinity, something else based on the lectionary, or choosing something else to preach or do this week, you can share it here. Or let us know where you’re stuck, even if it’s at a blank screen.

You may also want to waltz on over to Tuesday RCL Leanings: Trinity Edition for ideas.

68 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party – Three-in-One Edition

  1. Morning all! A Narrative Lectionary Gal I am looking at Psalm 1 tomorrow. I have looked out my commentaries….dusted them off and created a scholarly pile…. eeech! Then I googled!!! Hazah! Found this beautiful intro to the Psalm on the ivpress.com website and thought others might find it helpful: http://www.ivpress.com/bible/psalms/

    I am going to begin our series on the Psalms with an intro to them and a look at Psalm 1 in particular. So armed with this website and my Spill the Beans Bible notes I have made a start. I have coffee by my side and a target of lunchtime….

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  2. Not completely done, but here is my thoughts on the Holy Trinity:

    The Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost
    (John 3:1-17)

    I speak to you in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen

    One of the first sermons I delivered here at Saint John’s, without realizing when I agreed to preach, ended up being Trinity Sunday in 2011. I have to tell you, of all the Sundays in the year, this is the one that makes even the most seasoned priests quake in their shoes. This is probably the most difficult to preach on because the concept of the Trinity and the concept of ‘three-in-one’ is hard enough to understand for those trained in theology.

    Today is Trinity Sunday. Since Pope John XXII, the western church has set this Sunday aside for reflection on the tremendous mystery of the Trinity. When we sing the words of one of our best known hymns, Holy, Holy, Holy, we sing, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.”

    Praising the Holy Trinity has been going on for almost 1690 years since Emperor Constantine called 317 bishops from all over the Christian world to settle the question of the divinity of Jesus Christ in 325 CE. They settled the question of whether Christ was simply another great prophet and teacher — even a high ranking angel from God — or was he the divine Son of God, co-equal and co-eternal with God?
    The church fathers have spent almost a thousand years trying to reach agreement on the doctrine. And we, as preachers, are supposed to pull something ‘out of the hat’ that explains the Trinity as a matter of fact. I will say, since 2011, I have been studying and researching, bound and determined that I would purposely select this Sunday and give my best try at explaining the Trinity. . .

    may I leave you with some understanding and no more confusion than you had before.

    I have come to the conclusion, after almost four years of studying, that we CAN NOT fully explain it… only speak of things that we can understand that might suggest the Trinity.

    Did you know that Trinity Sunday is the only Sunday in the entire Christian Calendar which celebrates a doctrine; and it is an unfinished doctrine, a mystery that is not completed or understood. And many would say that there is reason that only one doctrine is celebrated; because nobody wants to hear a sermon about a doctrine.

    But it is Trinity Sunday — what on earth could I say about the Trinity that was new?! How do I even begin to explain the mystery? So it came to me — I CAN’T explain the mystery. No one can. No one has the ability to fathom the mystery, so we express it in symbols — and we looked around the church and found all the Trinitarian symbols.

    A doctrine by its nature is an abstraction – never referenced directly in scripture; others still, would state that the Trinity is the most unattainable doctrine of them all.

    There are some concrete facts about the Trinity:

    • There is no reference in the Bible to “Trinity”
    • There is no reference in the Bible to the Triune God.

    The Trinity has been explained in many ways from very heavy philosophical ideas to picture metaphors like a three leaf clover. With any of these, it is important to remember that none of them describes God in his very being or essence. That cannot be done. The Trinity is a statement of how God relates, not how God is. When it comes to our relating to God, we can’t pin God down to one thing or one way.

    When we consider one way to view God there is always another way on the other hand. But why three, as in the Trinity? Who knows? But we do know that just as we can’t pin God down to one of our simplistic ideas, we also can’t pin God down to three either, or any one of the three.

    Throughout the centuries, Christians have striven to express this Triune understanding of the oneness of God’s in various ways. The underlying belief is that God’s very being is reflected in his creation.

    • Augustine spoke of the mind, with its capacity for memory, understanding, and will. One mind – yet active in threefold ways.

    • John of Damascus was one among many early church fathers who spoke of water that bubbled up from a spring, flowed into a river, and reached its source in the ocean. Water is one, yet spring, river, and ocean are distinctive expressions of it.

    • Martin Luther spoke of the root, trunk, and fruit of a tree as the living God is traceable in his creation. He spoke of iron in a blacksmith’s shop that would glow, burn, and place its stamp on wood.
    God is relating everywhere; and because of the multiplicity of God’s relating he can never be missed. Look at the beautiful sunset. God is there. Look at the home destroyed by a tornado. God is there. God is in the tears of joy and in the tears of sorrow.

    Can we be like God? We are the image of God. In that image we also cannot be pinned down to one way of relating. We are all many things. What wonderful surprises we all are, just as God is always a wonderful surprise.

    St. Augustine, one of the most astute thinkers the Christian Church has ever produced, was walking along the seashore one day while pondering the doctrine of the Trinity, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. He seemed to hear a voice saying, “Pick up one of the large sea shells there by the shore.” So he picked it up. Then the voice said, “Now pour the ocean into the shell.” And he said, “Lord, I can’t do that.” And the voice answered, “Of course not. In the same way, how can your small, finite mind ever hold and understand the mystery of the eternal, infinite, Triune God?”

    The Holy Trinity is no debatable doctrine: it is an icon, a window to God. It is a parable, a paradox that invites us to let go of mere thought and behold the mystery of the Divine.

    All these efforts to help us in our understanding of God do not explain him in completeness, of course. Nor are they meant to. They keep us mindful of a mystery – an essence that comes through to us in a tri-fold fashion.

    So we have this Blessed Trinity and the Trinity is at work in all our lives and in all of creation. We have God the Creator, called Father, who is the source of all that has ever been, is, or will ever be created. We have God the Redeemer, God’s Son, the greatest gift of God who has saved the world, all of creation, all of US, through His living, teaching, sacrifice and resurrection. And we have God the Sanctifier, the Holy Spirit, and it is She who reaches out to creation and to all of us and dwells within us to make us holy. We have the Trinity, the Three in One.

    This is what we believe God to be. This is our God. And our God does not need us. Our God does not need anything. And yet our God created everything, including us, and our God then, when through our own wrong choices brought evil upon ourselves, redeemed the world and us from sin and death. And God shares the Holy Spirit, the very essence of Love Herself, with us in order to sanctify us after redemption. God didn’t need to do any of this, but in love, God does this. God did this out of love. And even in our own error and misstep, God still loves us and saves us and allows us to be holy again.
    There is a Norwegian proverb that says, “All good things come in threes.”

    This one God has revealed God’s self to us in three different ways: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The western church has called each of these ways “persons,” not differentiating them as individual gods, but to identifying them as the three different ways God has revealed God’s self to us, as well as the three different ways the three are related to one another within the unity of God’s being: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Father: the Father is the Father, not because God is a male–God is beyond all gender, male or female–nor because the first person of the Godhead is like a father. We call the first person Father because this is the Father of the Son and the source of the Spirit. We call the first person of the Godhead “Father” because that is what Jesus called him and taught us to call him. Through Jesus, the One Jesus called “Abba Father,” is also “Our Father” the source of all that is.

    Son: we call the second person of the Godhead “Son” because he comes from the Father, was sent by God as God’s incarnation to reveal God to us, to be God with us, to live out his life with us and for us as one of us. He was not a hologram; he was flesh and blood. We know Jesus as the Son not only because he was of the flesh, but as the Gospel of John confesses, because of his life lived out in obedience to his Father (John 4:34). And as Jesus prepared to return to his Father, he promised another Advocate–the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit–the presence of God.

    Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God is the wind of God Jesus spoke of in today’s gospel, who blows where it will, whose work is to give new birth from above, to transform, renew, sustain, to make us children of God. The Spirit is the lifeline through whom the risen Son is present to us in life–it is the Spirit’s work to make the bread and wine Jesus’ body and blood to draw us into Christ’s risen presence so that we can feed on him. The Holy Spirit is the wireless connection between us and the Son and us and the Father because they are “hard-wired” together in the one essence we call ‘God’.

    The Trinity is, quite frankly, more than just a little beyond our comprehension and understanding. Which is why we lean on metaphors and analogies, from the Desert Fathers (the two Gregorys and Basil) comparing the members of the Trinity to the source of light (Father), the light itself that illumines (Son), and the warmth when you feel the light (Spirit) to Augustine’s Lover (Father), Beloved (Son), and the Love shared between the two (Spirit). We try to give ourselves a sense, even just a hint, of what the Trinity really is.

    The Father is not the Son or the Spirit, but the Father, Creator of heaven and earth. The Son is neither the Father nor the Spirit, but God in human flesh, sent as the Savior to redeem the world through divine love. The Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but God’s presence with us today, the means through whom you and I come to experience and know God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit–three distinct means of God being over and above us, with and for us, and in and among us, and three distinct relationships with one another, who are nonetheless one in essence. What one wills all three will, what one does all three do–they work in concert, the three playing their different parts–three voices emerging from the same string at the same time, forming a trio of melodies that harmonize into one glorious sound, in order to accomplish the same purpose–as indivisible in their work as they are in their being–One God in three co-equal persons.

    The Trinity is even a statement of our faith: God created us, saved us, and sanctifies us. God invites us back to Him, back to the Creator, back to the Redeemer, back to the Sanctifier. God calls us home, for we are created in God’s image, and God’s image and Spirit are within us. God is the Trinity. God is Unity. God is One. And God wants to share that Oneness in love. Within God, and with each and all of us, God wants to be ONE….WITH US!

    When you remember that God is Father, Son and Spirit, bound in the unity of their mutual love and divine essence, it becomes clear that Jesus is saying He and the Father and the Spirit are One, we simply cannot encounter one without the other. Jesus is the one in the Godhead whose role it is to reveal God and reconcile us to God, to be the one through whom we are able to enter God’s Holy presence, and the Spirit is the one who transports us there. When one encounters God, one encounters all three, whether one knows it or not.

    This is the mystery of God we celebrate today: God over and above us, God for and with us, God in and among us, One God, the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ, the God who in the waters of baptism makes us his own, the God who meets us at table to give us the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation, the God who is in us and among us, using us to share the good news of his love and purpose for us all.

    So in the Nicaean Creed we will recite, we affirm that we believe in One God, the “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

    The poet Robert Frost said it this way: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: ‘It goes on.'” And since “it goes on,” we have lived to face another day. Let’s call on the Power of Three as we live this day: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer; the power that created us in the first place, that redeemed us in the second place, and that, in the third place, guides us each moment by the in-pouring of the love of God into our thirsty hearts. Let’s call on the Power of the Three-in-One and One-in-Three.

    It would be appropriate for you to say, when trying to understand the Trinity: “Why bother? I have enough problems with things that I understand, let alone things that I don’t understand.”

    Surprisingly, there are THREE good reasons why we should attempt to understand the mystery of the Trinity as best we can within our human limitations.

    The first reason is that Jesus revealed the Trinity to us. The existence of the Father, of himself, the Son and the Holy Spirit, whom He and the Father sent forth upon the apostles. Jesus came and lived among us to teach us, to show us how to live and how to love, He worked miracles and died for our sins and rose from the dead to show us the way to eternal life. So whatever Jesus revealed to us, He revealed for a reason and it is important for us to pay attention to it and try to understand it as best we can.

    Secondly, while we cannot grasp the idea of one God – three persons – each God, we can recognize that the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the perfect model of harmony and unity, a community of relationship, so perfectly intertwined that you cannot tell where one begins and the other ends.

    The third and most important reason is that in the first chapter of Genesis, humankind, you and I, are created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, since Jesus has revealed to us the essence of God as perfect unity, harmony, community and relationship, then the very core of our creation is a call to perfect harmony, community and relationship. This is the real challenge living in a society where individualism is promoted. Nonetheless, we are called to expand our circle of relationship to include more and more people.

    “We are called to worship the One who created the world, and called it Good. We are called to worship the One who loved the world enough to come into the world and invite us into relationship. We are called to worship the One who comes as Spirit, blowing where it will, a mystery we catch glimpses of as we seek to know and love.”

    Blessing for Trinity Sunday
    In this new season may you know the presence of the God who dwells within your days,
    the mystery of the Christ who drenches you in love,
    the blessing of the Spirit who bears you into life anew.

    Amen.

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    1. I love this! I especially like sitting with the incompleteness of our understanding, rather than just throwing up our arms and saying “it’s impossible”. I’m someone who was really good at math in school, and I like to solve for x. And I used to fix computers, and then program computers, so I’m in the habit of looking for a solution. It’s good for me to think about working toward a more complete understanding, though I may be incapable of fully comprehending.

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    2. Incredible sermon! May I use it or parts of it? I have been mired in where to start, researched all the same stuff, even began at this church on Trinity Sunday.
      Thank you for giving permission to sit with the mystery and be content in the unknown.

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  3. Good morning! We have been up for almost two hours, roused by cats and puppy, but I am no further in my search for the thing I think I need to pull my sermon together. I have Isaiah and John as the primary resources, and an idea about how we say we want God to tell us what to do more clearly, but when the moment of encounter comes, we may not want to hear (Isaiah) or understand what is meant (Nicodemus). Preaching to a congregation in the midst of a transition that will be in some fashion life-altering, I want to leave them with an image of being open to God’s call, but have not landed on a story. Coffee is ready here now, so maybe that will help!

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    1. I’m liking the way you’re connecting these to where the church is in its journey. Are you using “Here I Am, Lord” as a hymn? (It always seems to come up with this passage) I really like “The Summons,” which i think captures the idea in both Isaiah and John – and I wish I had thought of it when we were planning worship.

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      1. We are using Here I Am, Lord. It’s familiar to the congregation. I don’t think they know “The Summons,” and we are already into the post-choir summer season, so for the next several months, our options are limited.
        I’m not coming up with a good complement to the texts other than a story from my life, so that may have to be it. I only made myself mad by searching through some church-y websites for inspiration. (I really don’t need to read that being a progressive Christian is the opposite of being a “convictional” Christian, as if we progressives have no convictions.)

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  4. Good morning — off to all all-day iphone photography class with a pretty big deal photographer.

    I wrote my Nicodemus sermon a couple of days ago and shamelessly entitled it “Endarkenment,” since I wanted to use BBT and talk about how there are things we learn in the dark that we can’t learn any other way. The Trinity isn’t really getting much more than a mention; I just don’t have it in me.

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  5. I wasn’t quite ready to post but it seems that I did. Anyway, I am back after two weeks off, plunging back into the merge-or-close situation and not feeling terribly optimistic, and wondering if the fact that exactly what we had feared with our tiny budget — a large, uninsured expense — has happened– is a message. And hoping that it is the case that we do actually learn things in the night.

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  6. My husband was out (we are still adjusting to his retirement), so I sat down to write Sunday’s sermon on Monday morning, and found, to my surprise and delight, that I was supposed to preach the exact same sermon I preached at a different church last year! http://mrsredboots.blogspot.com/2014/06/trinity-sunday-2014.html So that’s all right then! A bit of updating of the prayers and readings, and job done! I was very pleased.

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  7. All week long I’ve been telling myself I wasn’t going to worry about the texts–if they find their way in, fine; if not, that’s fine too. And for the last umpteen years, I’ve said to myself, I’m not going to worry about the Trinity either. Yesterday I read Elizabeth Johnson’s fine book QUEST FOR THE LIVING GOD. Woke up this morning thinking about the love stories of real people all prompted by a lamp my dad gave my mom on their 15th anniversary (maybe I’ll post a picture on my blog), thoughts of an old woman who has just gone off dialysis and whose husband is holding vigil at her death bed (over 70 years ago, he caught one glimpse of her and he followed her to church, choir and throughout life), and other love stories I’ve heard told. But I’m also thinking about a painting that used to hang over my father-in-law’s fireplace. A Vermont country church in winter. People trudging their way through the snow to the church door. Thinking about the longings they bring–maybe each longing for a slightly or totally different God. Today I’m longing for the gentling God. What God are you longing for?

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  8. I am no further than I was when I commented thusly at the Tuesday post: “Isaiah is what I put in the bulletin, and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I’m all about the helpful comments today, can you tell? :)”

    I could preach an Isaiah sermon. I could preach a Trinity sermon. But I’m not able to put them together (I see why the RCL people chose the Isaiah passage, but it’s kind of a weak connection, in my opinion).

    Not to mention, I’ve been distracted all week with flooding in my state, and spent all day yesterday doing flood cleanup at our Presbytery camp, which was hit hard. Add in pottery class this morning, and I have a suspicion that I’m going to be up with the RevGalNightOwls (and Nicodemus) tonight.

    Children’s sermon idea, anyone?

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    1. One year I worked with the kids by telling them riddles and they told me riddles, which hinted at the nature of the Trinity, a bit of a Christian “riddle” as we try to understand the mystery that is God.

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    2. Hmmm… children’s sermon. I would be tempted to go with the same theme I’m using for the adults – the idea that if you’ve been doing something bad, you don’t have to keep doing it ( “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.”) The church where I’m doing pulpit supply is using the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch for the kid.

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  9. I have another two sermon day, one for the wedding this afternoon and one for Sunday. The wedding will adapt my old stand-by, what I always say at weddings. For tomorrow I am looking at some of our heavy theological words (creator, redeemer, sanctifier) and the different understandings the Christian tradition has of certain words, which adds to the confusion of meaning (Nicodemus). I have a decent draft so for now I think I’ll go exercise, which is always a good way for me to let stuff settle so I can look at it with fresh eyes.

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    1. That’s an interesting way in – in worship, I’ve heard many combinations of words for the Trinity. I’ve often wondered how the choice of words affects the congregation’s relationship with God and with each other.

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  10. I’ve been procrastinating all morning. Time to take my thursday sketch and see if it’s really the sermon I think it is. I’m doing my usual interactive bit, but it’s the conclusion to a sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. I haven’t take it in order and feel a bit bad about that now. But plan to “teach” in the first segment, have small “Pew Groups” discern the 2nd segment, and “preach” the wrap-up 3rd segment.

    Does anyone know if children can see Magic Eye images? I want to use them during the Moments with children and project for congregation to see. (If the bulbs came in this week. Left me high and dry last Sunday when the projector quit. Good news, it’s old enough that the very expensive bulbs are now quite cheap!)

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  11. Children can see Magic Eye images – probably better than some adults, as they’re a bit more flexible in how they see things – as long as they have binocular vision.

    Prayers for your work on your interactive sermon – may the spirit move you.

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    1. Great thanks. Just found a projector I can borrow in the morning from a colleague since our new bulbs won’t come till this week. Appreciate the heads up! For once it’s not a stretch to keep to the them of “Turn Your Eyes On Jesus” which has been the whole Sermon on the Mount theme. I hope we can have some fun with the images on my iPad and projected.

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  12. I’m preaching a series called “The Question Is…” using a submitted question each week. This week, the question is “Did God write the Bible?” It’s also the day we will recognize and bless 7 recipients of high school, Bachelors and Masters diplomas! So, I think I will take a look at the questioning posture of Nicodemus, how hard it must have been for him as teacher, to take the posture of student, and the very open-ended “answer” he received (that is for each of us learners and seekers also!), the Trinitarian presence of God in scripture AND in our questions and the questions scripture ask us…that open the Word to us so mysteriously and brings life and light to the world’s dark places through our presence, our hearts and our intellect.

    And I’m sure as I clean my house today there will be a story that comes to mind that will help me do all that in a sermon that will need to be very brief. (you could pray for that!) I’m allowing plenty of time in worship for the giving of quilts to high school grads, and prayer and blessing for all the grads (which will preach the lively action of the Trinity in itself, tbtG!) Holy, holy, holy…

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  13. This week had 3 funerals (including one dear old lady I was very close to) and the death of our Organist after a long fight with cancer. I am feeling wrung out and I am afraid the 70th birthday party I went to this afternoon of a church member (which I know she thought would be a good antidote for the sad week) has just drained me further.

    I have a vague draft of a sort of trinity sermon but we have a baptism tomorrow with many non-church people and the sermon is decidedly dry and boring. I feel tomorrow I may perpetuate some of the bad perceptions of church and why people don’t go (e.g it’s boring and irrelevant)

    There’s still a few hours to work on it but boy do I need the sermon fairy to pay me a visit today!
    Hope things are going better for the rest of you!

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    1. I read a thought somewhere a while back… it’s really stuck in my head… how much water do we need to use for a baptism (yikes, assumes you don’t use immersion!)… only enough to drown in… a tablespoon or so… dying to be reborn… might help anyone who is still struggling after the funerals, maybe you … we are reborn, born from above on a small scale… or cleansed of iniquity by coals, or made well by the snake lifted… but always within this lifetime we are only a bit closer, an approximation of rebirth… sort of like we can only grasp an approximation of the trinity, of the full power and capacity and being of god… sort of a sideways glance… but reborn into eternity, the truth Truth will be revealed! made whole, given breath again, redeemed

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  14. Am working on the Romans passage and telling adoption stories, have a great opening story and a closing bookend but having birth pangs in the theologically thick middle…

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    1. I’m also on the adoption narrative. In part, this:
      So when it comes to the Holy Trinity, I am a whole lot less concerned with how this three-in-one, one-in-three thing might get worked out, or be expressed in a fixed formula, and more concerned with the questions of why, and what that tells us about God, and about ourselves, we creatures who live and move and have our being in such a mathematically complicated and illogical Godhead.
      The readings for today try to tell us something about that relationship, but even they get tangled, trying to describe the ineffable. How do you map the variables of love, the additions and subtractions of injury and forgiveness, the multiplication of mercy, the sum of grace?
      In the Gospel, Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night, groping in the dark towards the truth. Jesus tells him he needs to get born again, reborn into the new light that is dawning, slowly, upon him, the knowledge of God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ.
      When I was adopted, and when many of the people I know in Ohio were, we were issued new birth certificates. The originals stayed in some government vault somewhere, darkly-inked with the details of our original births: time, place, the people present, the names given.
      Our new certificates, the ones which we present to the world via the Social Security offices and the passport applications, list new details: same time and place, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent and to present to the world the legal reality that these are this child’s parents; this their daughter or son, as if born to them. We have not only been adopted, according to this narrative: we have been born again.
      That’s what Paul is talking about in his Spirit of adoption speech. He is not talking about the time in front of a judge who proclaims that this child now has the same rights of inheritance, the same claim to love as any natural-born offspring of the same parents. For Paul, this is a new birth certificate, which doesn’t undo the one darkly-inked and kept in a government vault: that is still true and valid and important, very important. But it restates the relationship. It re-presents to the world the reality that is: we are children of God. We have always been children of God. This is our natural state of relationship, and it can never be undone.
      Fun fact: in England and Wales, baptism as a new birth can alter the legally recognized birth names of a child, adding or replacing them with their Christian names, acknowledging and certifying that this one has been born again, born anew, as a child of God, and amending the record to show that it was ever thus.
      It may be, then, that the importance of the idea of God as Trinitarianis the knowledge that our God is someone who has always embodied relationship, the love and the give and take and the dance and the updating of identity and interaction that accompanies any relationship; a God who gets it because relationship is part of who God is in God’s very being, without division, without history, without the need for legal fictions or updated records or secret ink.
      God is, and God always has been, the essence of internal integrity and of openness to the other.

      I’m not sure how internally consistent it is, but then I’m never sure how internally consistent I am… Blessings!

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      1. Roslind, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I have been pretty stuck, supposed to be preaching at our modern Catalyst service tomorrow evening and couldn’t figure out where to go, except that I wanted to share about the march I was in on Tuesday with Greater Cleveland Congregations to address justice issues and police brutality. You have given me some great new insights – thank you!

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  15. Hello RevGalPals! I have enjoyed a day without sermon writing. Earlier in the week, the scripture of John 5 and the question of “Do you want to be made well?” got stuck in my heart (instead of an earworm…a heartworm!) So, I am throwing caution to the wind and going off all lectionary this week. I feel like such a rebel.

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  16. I now have an introductory paragraph or two and what is, I think, a developing sinus infection 😦 My husband gave me some medicine (over the counter) which he assured me did not make him drowsy. Mmm hmm. I should have stuck with my ibuprofen regimen. The drowsiness will wear off sometime, right?

    In any case: I’m thinking about what the center (or maybe pivot?) of worship is, and I think that’s how I”m going to connect the Isaiah reading to the Trinity.

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  17. I was all relaxed and enjoying the prospect of an honest-to-goodness day off today, when the phone rang at 8 am and I learned one of our nursing home residents died in the night. Then the lay rep to our annual conference session let me know he’s only planning to take a few minutes to share his experience of the meeting, instead of the whole sermon time – so I’m halfway thinking I should maybe have something to preach, after all. One of the speakers at AC got me thinking about apostleship as an integral part of discipleship, so I will try to tie that into the Isaiah reading. But I am more and more thinking that what I need to say about the Trinity is just “embrace ambiguity, people.” And then shut up.

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  18. I’ve toyed with writing a new sermon, taking off on what RevAlli suggested, love stories….but I think I’ll o that next week when we have our “Life Transitions” Sunday and church picnic…

    So, in the meantime I keep tweaking the sermon I have in draft form. I fear, like last week, I am so wiped out from the heat and the wedding and preaching and presiding at it, that I don’t have much left to give to this sermon. I’ll post it after dinner and we’ll see what that produces. Sometimes I have to post it before I can begin to see all the holes in it.

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      1. Oh dear….I hate having a head cold or bad allergies that clog me up, I cannot think at all. I do hope you feel better.

        I have managed to fritter away the evening, making dinner, eating dinner, taking a shower, anything but working on the sermon. Now, because I am really getting tired I simply must get it together. sigh.

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  19. Here it is. Would someone please look at it. I fear it’s crap. Need help. (a href=”http://revalli.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/love-stories/”)On my blog(/a)

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        1. as a Vocational Deacon in the Episcopal Church, we are extolled to ‘comfort the uncomfortable, and make the comfortable uncomfortable’. what are we to do but challenge the old thoughts and bring about new understandings

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  20. We had Saturday worship so here is my sermon. We had a great interactive time in worship where people posted photos of worship and we spoke about how all of those images helped us understand God better.
    Another Right Answer
    A Trinity sermon from Sabbath worship at Southminster in Boise, Idaho. May 30, 2015 Isaiah 6:1-8 John 3:1-17 Welcome to Trinity Saturday, which is where the lectionary writers punish preachers who had so much fun last week on Pentecost Sunday by foisting upon us today the most complicated and obfuscating texts and expecting us to […]

    http://marciglass.com/2015/05/30/another-right-answer/

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  21. I’m including a very slightly interactive bit in my sermon, which I suspect is pretty wild for this congregation. (Slightly interactive being “raise your hand if…”). We’ll see how it goes. Thanks to Marci and some other folks at the Tuesday RCL Lectionary Leanings, I went with Isaiah’s call story being our model for worship, and then (I think/hope) tied Trinity Sunday in at the end.

    I am hoping to put this sinus infection to bed here in the next few minutes. But the 5 year old took a 4 hour nap this evening, from 3-7 pm. Bedtime is long past, and she is still wide awake. It may be a long night here!

    Blessings to everyone still working.

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