Holy Trinity Sunday — May 22, 2016 — Sermon starts at 31:25
A THREEFOLD BLESSING FROM OUR TRIUNE GOD
- Peace before the Father
- Access through the Son
- Hope from the Spirit
Text: Romans 5:1-5
Although we are just a week away from Memorial Day—the holiday that marks the start of summer in the minds of many people—I’d like you to move your minds ahead to the holiday that occurs in the middle of summer, Independence Day. Imagine that, after the sun has set, you are taking in a spectacular fireworks display, the likes of which you can’t remember seeing before. The family is all together for the Fourth of July, and one of your children or grandchildren are seated on your lap as this master lights display is bursting before your eyes. Do you think that, at that moment, you would begin to explain how fireworks work in a scientific way with proper academic language? Or is that the moment to sit back, enjoy the time with family, ooh and ah at the fireworks as they blossom in the sky, and just soak in the moment?
Last week was Call Day at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary—the day when graduates of our church body’s seminary find out (in a special service with 1,000 other people present!) where they have been assigned to begin their ministry as pastors. A son of St. Mark’s congregation, Gunnar Ledermann, received his divine call at that service to be pastor at a congregation in Rockwall, Texas. Imagine you are there, hearing the voices of a thousand fellow Lutherans sing the hymns with vigor and enthusiasm, feeling the nervous excitement in the room as life is about to change in a big way for those graduates. Do you think that, at the moment the list of assignments is being read, you would turn to the person next to you and ask them to explain the in’s and out’s and policies of the call process to you? Or is that the moment to sit back, absorb the emotions and energy that permeate the rom, and soak in the whole experience?
Today is Trinity Sunday. The Christian Church has been celebrating this particular Sunday, eight weeks after Easter, as Trinity Sunday since 1334 A.D. officially, and unofficially even earlier than that. And there are two ways we could celebrate this day. We could turn worship into an academic experience, and slice and dice our way through the Athanasian Creed and other precise Christian statements of faith about the Trinity. There is no doubt that there are definite times and places for that! But we could also celebrate like an incredible divine fireworks display of the Triune God’s existence and mystery and blessings on us. That’s really what we’re doing in this service today, and that’s the direction our sermon today will take us in. Our meditation on God’s Word today will be more like celebration rather than education. We want to marvel in the mystery of our Triune God, and also bask in the glow of all his blessings to us. To do that, let’s take a closer look at the Second Lesson for this service, from Romans 5:1-5. That’s where the apostle Paul helps us to celebrate this day by focusing on a threefold blessing from our Triune God: peace before the Father, access through the Son, and hope from the Spirit. Read More…