Let us pray: O blessed Trinity, how awesome is Your name in all the earth! You are the Creator of all things. You are the Source of the star patterns in the sky, the molecules of water sweeping across the ocean, the green plants which give us sustenance, and most of all: You are the One Who made us out of earthly dust and then in pure love gave Your life to save us everlastingly! So today we praise Your awesome Name! Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM THE BLESSED, HOLY TRINITY!
TEXT: I Peter 1: 1a—2: “To God’s elect, strangers in the world…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.”
Dearly Beloved By the Most High God!
The year was 1305. It was the 1st year that Trinity Sunday was introduced and celebrated in the Western Church headed by Rome. It caught on and by 1334 it gained official recognition as part of the church year calendar. It marks the climax of the festival half of the church year. It is the last Sunday in which we focus on the awesome acts of the Holy Trinity to save us while summing up the resume of the Triune God in so doing. In short, today is an important moment for our faith.
Everyone instinctively knows that God’s name is holy, special, and important. It should never be uttered lightly without reverence and awe. In OT days, the Jews would not even say His Hebrew name: “Jahweh” out loud because it was so holy! Instead, they would say in place of it: “Adoni” or “Lord.” Contrast this with the seemingly omnipresent OMG, O my God, used as a throw away line in social media today….I know at least one person who believes that words have vibrational resonance in the universe. So, uttering God’s holy name in conversation vibrates across the entire universe right back to Him! If you use the Name of the Holy Trinity in a non-religious way, therefore, it is slap in His face and dishonors Him. Personally, I agree. And quite frankly, so does the second commandment.
Trinity Sunday provides us with a resume of both exactly Who our God really is and also what He has done to elicit our praise and thanksgiving. Our text basically sums all this up, too. Peter begins by writing, “To God’s elect, strangers in the world.” All Christians know that we have One God Who comprised of three Persons—The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is fully God. Each is distinct as to their work but they are also unified, One, at the same time. Our God existed before the creation of time. He created time and it is contained in Him. Likewise, He is bigger than anything else, beyond the farthest reaches of the universe. In fact, the universe is contained in Him, too. Nothing is beyond God. So our trying to modify and reduce the Trinity down to human understanding is beyond silly. And yet people always try to, don’t they?
But the amazing thing about God is that He created us out of nothing, breathed into us a part of Himself, a soul, and animated us in order to give Him praise and honor. And then we promptly lost such oneness with Him in the disasterous fall into sin. However, since “God is love” He ordained to rectify our situation by sending the 2nd Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, into this earth to redeem our souls. This He did by “sprinkling His holy blood upon us. This was accomplished by God in the person of Christ dying in our place to make us right with the entire Godhead once more. This gift of inexpressible perfection was then made our own possession through faith, faith born of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd member of the Trinity. St. Peter sums it all up in the few lines of our text. And so, we come back to his greeting: “To God’s elect, strangers in the world.”
What does all this mean? It means that before God created the universe, He knew who and what you are and would be and decided out of love for His Son to elect you to be a Christian, an heir to heaven. In His foreknowledge, God knows everything in advance. He even knows things that are contrary to His will. So, He knew all about the coming of evil and how it would destroy people. But in love for Christ, He chose you personally to come to faith and thereby become one of His elect. So, when we’re born, we really are strangers on the earth because our election dictates that our real home is a heavenly one! To Him alone belongs all the glory for it!
All that you are, all that you have, all that you will ever be stems from the Trinity’s blessed involvement in your life! The Father elected us out of grace; the Son has washed us clean of sin and evil by sprinkling us with His life-saving, undying blood; and the Spirit has and is sanctifying us, making us holy, by His ongoing work each day. This is why you are blest, dear Christian. This is why you are special. This is why your life has eternal significance. This is also why being careful to avoid sin and temptations is so vital. For each time you do so you’re striking a note of disharmony across the entire universe and hurting the ears and heart of our glorious Lord.
The Biblical teaching of the Trinity, summed up in the Athanasian Creed, is the greatest mystery of the Christian faith. We can never fully comprehend the extent of Who God really is because our brains are too limited. But we can believe it! We can trust in the Son’s loving work of saving us. We can have faith and confidence in the Spirit’s power to remake and remold our lives for the better. Because such faith is: “A gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast.”
None of us will ever even begin to fathom the depth of our God. Even when in heaven, although we will know much more, not everything will be revealed to us. We’re told that even the angels desire, right now, to know more. But this seemingly impossibly distant Triune God still loves and cares for you. He proved it by Christ’s suffering and death in your place. He still proves it daily “working in us to will and do His good pleasure” by the Spirit’s power. So, be happy with what He gives you. It is enough. If He gave us more, probably our heads would explode! Yes, the Holy Trinity always knows exactly what is best! So, today we rejoice to honor His Name! Amen