Trinity Sunday A 2020
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 & Matthew 28:16-20
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
This morning we hear again the Trinitarian greeting that the Apostle Paul gave to the people in Corinth in his Second Letter to the Corinthians. We hear this greeting every Sunday morning in our liturgy, and today it is part of the lectionary reading for Trinity Sunday.
Now I know that I usually begin the sermon with a different blessing – the one which states “Grace to you and peace…,” but today, given it’s Trinity Sunday and that the Second Reading today is from 2 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 11-13, it seems appropriate to begin the sermon with words that affirm the Holy Trinity.
For you see, on Trinity Sunday we affirm that God is one, yet God is also three. We “lift up” today the Lord God Almighty in three persons “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” We celebrate the mystery of God as we hear the words “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
I think that these words are among the greatest words written in all of scripture. Grace, love, and communion written in a sentence form a picture of God. And this picture of God (grace, love, and communion) is indeed powerful stuff.
Think about it… If the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with us, our lives will never be the same again. If the self-giving love of God is with us, our relationships with each other will never be the same. If the communion of the Holy Spirit is present in our world, our lives together change for the better as we are guided by the paraclete sent to us from heaven above.
Unfortunately, today we live in unusual circumstances. The coronavirus has altered the way we live our lives together in our communities.
The protests, riots, looting, and burning of property highlight how deep the divisions are in our world. The tropical storm bearing down on Texas and Louisiana this weekend exposes how helpless we are in the face of mother nature.
And to top it all off, the challenges and the threats that we are up against change from week to week. One minute the stock market is down, and the next minute it is up again. One minute we are told to social isolate, and the next minute people are encouraged to gather in large numbers to protest. One minute we hear that we live in a time of record unemployment, and the next minute we hear that the unemployment figures are going down and the economy is showing signs of recovery.
Today we live in trying and difficult times. Nobody at the beginning of the year could have predicted how different this year would be. Our day to day lives have changed. Careers have changed. Vacation plans have changed. Our life together at Calvary Lutheran Church has changed. And that is why we are all left wondering if our lives will ever get back to normal.
And the answer is this... we do not know what the future holds. But we do know that the events of the past few months have changed us. But the Good News of the Trinity assures us that God can and God does create wonderful things out of chaos.
In our First Reading from the Book of Genesis we are told that God created the heavens and the earth from complete darkness. In the Small Catechism concerning the First Article of the Apostles Creed on creation, Luther wrote “I believe that God has created me together with all that exists. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul: eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all metal faculties.”
“In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property – along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil.”
“And all this is done out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him.”
“This is most certainly true.”
With these words Luther informs us that even in the midst of a pandemic, and even when the world around us erupts in chaos and protest, and even when natural disasters threaten to destroy the physical foundations of our community, God abundantly provides all that we need.
And the Good News is this… today in our Gospel reading Jesus promised “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” World English Bible Translation
Our Lord and Savior has promised that He will never leave our side. That in every moment of fear, and in every breath of terror, and when everything seems to be falling apart, He will be by our side. Just as He promised the disciples, Jesus is with us always, even to the end of all that we know.
On Trinity Sunday we celebrate The Father (The Creator), The Son (Our Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (Our Sanctifier-The One who makes us holy). Today we celebrate God, in three persons, the Blessed Holy Trinity.
Let us pray:
Father, we praise you: through your Word and Holy Spirit you created all things. You reveal your salvation in all the world by sending to us Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Through your Holy Spirit you give us a share in your life and love. Fill us with the vision of your glory, that we may always serve and praise you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one god, forever and ever. Amen.