The Strong Name of the Trinity

2020-06-07 – Year A – Trinity Sunday – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Genesis1:1–2:3; Psalm 150; Matthew 28:16-20

The Trinity in the Scriptures

  • The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible. The word was created from two other words, “tri” and “unity”, to describe God’s self-revelation in the pages of the Scriptures.
    • In our readings today, we see the Trinity in the context of mission – Matthew 28
    • Lest we think this is only a New Testament doctrine, we can also see the Trinity in the very first pages of the Bible in the account of creation.
      • Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Often when the Scriptures simply say “God” it is a reference to the Father.
      • Genesis 1:2 – “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the Waters.” This shows that the Spirit of God was clearly present and attentive in the beginning. He was certainly involved in creation.
      • Genesis 1:3 – “God said…” the Word of God is Jesus Christ (John 1:1).
        • ”the Father made all things through the Son and that nothing was created apart from the agency of the Son.”
      • Genesis 1:26 – “Let us make man in our image.”
        • We can see this in our need for community, in our creativity, and in the stewardship or dominion God has given us within his creation.
        • This is also the reason why every human life of every age and color has immense worth.

The Doctrine of the Trinity

  • So what is it, exactly, that we believe about who God is?
  • “And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.” (Athanasian Creed)
    • Most of the heresies of the early Church came from leaning too far in one of these two directions.
    • We could try to come up with metaphors for one God in three persons, but they all fall short because our God is unlike anything else in all of his creation.
    • The Athanasian Creed goes on to say that the three persons are uncreated, co-equal, almighty, and co-eternal. 
  • “36. Who is God? God is one divine Being eternally existing in three divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is the Holy Trinity.”
  • This is how God has revealed himself to us: One God in three Persons
    • We can’t really explain exactly how this is possible, it bends our brains trying to figure it out.
    • One other way that the Athanasian Creed describes God is “incomprehensible.”
  • Isaiah 55:8–9 – “My ways are higher than your ways…”
    • For some, the fact that we can’t fully understand the reality of God leads them to disbelief.
    • For those who choose to believe, I think there are three important responses.

Our Response

  • Comfort
    • St. Patrick’s breastplate – “I bind unto myself the Name, / the strong Name of the Trinity, / by invocation of the same, / the Three in One, and One in Three. / (The Hymnal 1982)
    • Recent rocket launch putting American astronauts back into space from American soil. They traveled inside a capsule on top of a rocket that they didn’t themselves design or build.
      • The could be nervous about this because of the loss of control.
      • The could be comforted by this because the abilities of the designer are superior to their own in this particular area.
    • I take comfort in the fact that I have a God whose thoughts and ways are higher than mine! There is someone bigger than me who is in control and he knows and loves me!
  • Awe
    • “Of whom all nature hath creation, / eternal Father, Spirit, Word”
    • Think about all of the majesty of God’s creation: Mt. Everest, The Grand Canyon, The Ocean.
    • We went to the beach last Monday and saw some of the biggest, most powerful waves we have ever seen! It was clearly a red flag day!!
    • When I see the power and majesty of creation, it makes me stand in awe of the even more powerful One who created it and continues to uphold it.
    • To me the Trinity is not a problem to be solved but a wonder to behold.
  • Praise
    • The wonder and awe that we experience as we try to comprehend the majest of God should lead us to lift our hands in praise.
    • Psalm 150: 1-2, 6.
    • “praise to the Lord of my salvation, / salvation is of Christ the Lord.”
    • So many of the great hymns end with a verse praising the Trinity.
      • Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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