A short devotion for 7th June

Trinity Sunday

Call to worship

The word of the eternal Father created us.
The love of the gracious Son redeemed us.
The presence of the Holy Spirit unites and empowers us.
Come and worship the glorious Trinity, our God of power, love and peace.

Prayers of Praise

O Lord, our sovereign,

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

Your glory reaches beyond the highest heavens. O Lord, our sovereign.

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

By the youngest to the eldest your praise is spoken forth. O Lord, our sovereign.

How majestic is your name in all the earth!

In sky, on land, and in water your creativity is seen, O Lord, our sovereign.

How majestic is your name in all the earth! Amen.

Prayer of Confession

Lord Jesus, you send us into the world, but we confess that our vision is narrow; you give us clear commandments, but we pretend not to understand them; you promise to be with us always, but we ignore your presence and follow our own way. Forgive us; give us a fresh vision and restore us to your way, we pray . Amen.

Bible Reading

  • Isaiah 42:1-9
  • Matthew 28:16-20

Message

Text

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Introduction

On this day in the Church calendar it is known as Trinity Sunday when we celebrate, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three Persons, One God. The word ‘Trinity’ is not used in the Bible.

The Plurality in the unity of God is implied in the Old Testament, Father, Son, and Spirit are called God.

  • Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” Gen1:26
  • Again in Gen 3:22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.”

In the New Testament we read in Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

St Patrick, the Irish Saint used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity: three leaves one stem. Doreen, my wife, uses water, ice and steam: all three are part of the same.

Every Minister of the Gospel on being ordained or inducted must affirm his/her faith in answer to the question, “Will you confess your faith?” Answer, “I confess anew my faith in One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Page 284)

The Apostles creed is in three parts, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

1. The Father who loves us

John 3:16, For God SO loved the world. When I was serving on the Mission Ship, MV Logos, while climbing up steps to the upper deck I stopped on the third step and the word “SO”, it was then I realised the depth of God’s Love. Like looking into the eyes of the one you love and saying, “I love you SO much.”

Let us have a reality check, it was us who turned away from God, turned our backs on a Father’s Love. The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. Gen.6:6-7. We live in a world today were man continues to reject the Love of God. We live in a world that denies that God is even here. Some time ago a church (Quakers) were thinking about removing or reducing references to God from their main book.

Yet through it all God still loves us. There is the story of a Minister travelling by train; he was sitting beside a young man who seemed deeply troubled, “Son,” he said, “you seemed troubled. Can I help you?” “Well may be you can”, said the lad, “You see the next town is my home, but I’ve been away a long time. I ran away after a quarrel with my father years ago. Last week I wrote to my mother telling her I would be on this train. I told her to hang something white on the clothes line if my father had forgiven me. We are almost there, but I can’t look. Sir, will you tell me if you see anything white?” “Look son, look!” the Minister cried. The entire hillside is covered with white garments. What a welcome home that boy received. (Noel Grant) The father had forgiven him, and it is the same with our Heavenly Father, if we repent, if we are sorry, He will forgive.

2. The Son who gave His life for us

It was God the Father’s will that His Son should die for our sins. Going a little further, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Back in Genesis 3:15 we see that God would send His Son to the cross to die in our stead. “He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” In Isaiah 53 we can read God’s plan of redemption and what His Son must suffer out of Love for us. “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Again in Matthew 21:33-40 we see Christ explaining God’s plan of sending Him to the cross in the parable of the Tenant, who in the end sent his Son. God did not hold back His son, what love? “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.” So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.”

So we have the Father who loves us and provided a sacrifice for our sins in the person of His Son. When we look back to Genesis 22:13-14 we read in verse 14, So Abraham called that place, “The Lord Will Provide.” God has provided in His Son.

The Holy Spirit who guides us

When we thought that God the Father and God the Son could do no more for us, they go the extra mile and send the Holy Spirit into the world to be a Comfort and Guide. The role of the Person and work of God the Holy Spirit is to point men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” John 14:15-16

The Holy Spirit never promotes Himself; He does not seek the lime light. He does not say, “Look at me”, He always points to the Lord Jesus. “But when, He, the Spirit comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16:13-15. Without the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we could not do one thing for the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to worship. It is the Holy Spirit who opens the Scriptures to us and our understanding of them, only the Holy Spirit that can cause us to seek repentance of our sin and lead us to Christ for salvation.

As the late John Stott points out: “So authentic fellowship is Trinitarian fellowship our common participation in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Many factors separate us – ethnicity, nationality, culture, gender and age but we are united in having the same heavenly Father, the same Son Saviour and lord and the same indwelling Spirit. It is this that makes us one.

  • The Greek words, ‘Koinonia = we share together, our fellowship.
  • Koinonikos = generous. We certainly have a generous God.

O how I praise God for the opportunity to join with all the saints in saying:

Glory be to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever more shall be, world without end. Amen

Prayers of Intercession

Where there is conflict between nations and within nations; where people live in fear of the bullet and the bombs; when parents weep for children who have been killed: God of peace, may your peace be known.

In homes filled with anger, cruelty and neglect; where there are no safe places; where poverty and addiction bring suffering and pain: God of peace, may your peace be known.

To those whose minds are tormented by depression; to those whose hold on life is fragile; to those whose lives are filled with stress: God of peace, may your peace be known.

To those who are nearing the end of life; to those who love and care for them:
God of peace, may your peace be known.

We pray for our Royal family, for those serving in the NHS and all who are providing services for the vulnerable not forgetting our own Church Family.

God of peace, may your peace be known.

May your peace be known to us and may we be bearers of your peace in our world. Amen

Blessing

God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace; and the blessing of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.