On Trinity Sunday June 15th our minister Trevor led worship. We began worship by singing ‘Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty’ before he led the opening prayers of adoration, confession and thanksgiving. We then sang ‘We give immortal praise’ before the readings from Isaiah 6v1-8 and Ephesians 1v3-14. The hymn we sang before the gospel reading was ‘Father in heaven.’
Trevor began his sermon by describing a small sociable hotel where one person wanted to go to church, but nobody wanted to join her. However she returned after only half an hour and they teased her, so somewhat embarrassed she admitted she had mistaken the time of the service and arrived just in time for the last hymn and grace! A lad brought up in a Christian home loved the blessing of Father, Son and Holy Ghost at the end of the service as it signalled it was time to go home! Saying the Grace is the climax of the service. Worship can be a personal experience of the presence of God, as Isaiah experienced; he had been through a depressive period and his role as a prophet had been affirmed in the temple.
Trinity can be seen as a religious conundrum, a mathematical problem – 3 in 1 and 1 in 3. As a boy he remembers the 3 in 1 oil in his father’s shed in the garden. However Trinity is not a puzzle or doctrine but an experience, an expression of God’s purpose to confront human beings, moving and inspiring them to lead them from where they are to discover what they can be. The three readings are pictures of God meeting human beings. Isaiah saw the vision in the temple and was struck by the holiness, otherness and unimaginable splendour of God. It was a vision which directed the rest of his life and enabled him to speak to the people. In the vision he saw the all powerful God and Isaiah felt unworthy but he had received his calling to being a prophet after the burning coal touched his lips his empowerment.
John in his gospel is describing the words of Jesus from the last days of his life. That gospel account had none of the splendour or otherness of Isaiah. Thomas and Philip probe deeper to make sense of who this man Jesus really is. Jesus said that they could see the Father in him. He will be stepping forward into total powerlessness, trial, abuse and crucifixion and yet in Jesus we can see the very personality of God. There was none of the terror which frightened Isaiah. Jesus brought love, encouragement, support and challenge to the disciples. When a person says that he loves someone and that love is reciprocated it creates a special atmosphere and Thomas and Philip sensed that moment when Jesus told them that when they had seen him they had seen the Father.
The letter to the Ephesians was written to a troubled and troublesome congregation reminding them of Jesus, as Paul pointed to the living presence of Jesus in their midst. The Holy Spirit is working to bring about the kingdom where all are one in Christ. Paul was challenging the congregation to develop unity in Christ. The disciples were in awe of Jesus when he said that God was in him. Those in the church at Ephesus were reminded that they were instruments of the Holy Spirit.
God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three pictures of God meeting with human beings; the completeness of God. Each aspect of God is to be entered into, reflected on and experienced. Isaiah was dumbstruck by the privilege of the revelation he had of God; and his only response was to say, ‘here I am, send me.’ Jesus and the Father are one, and we remember the passion which faced Jesus, suffering and death. The disciples had a passionate response to what Jesus said he would face, and vowed they would never desert or deny him, but they did! However they did not completely desert him and were there when Jesus rose again. The purpose of being church is being part of the people of God looking to the future seeking unity in Christ in each and every human being to be part of the church.
We then sang ‘Spirit of faith come down, before the intercessions and the worship concluded with the hymn ‘Meekness and Majesty’.