Trinity Sunday – Sunday, May 27, 2018

May 27, 2018  

Isaiah 6:1-8

We believe God is the creator of all. We in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are, therefore, one with humankind made in the image of God, and one with the whole creation.

We believe God is the Word embodied in Jesus Christ who unites us through baptism with all Christians in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. As Lutherans, we are united in our confession that we are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and liberated to serve God’s whole creation, seeking peace and justice.

We believe that God the Holy Spirit is always at work, transforming and inspiring new ways of living in this world toward God’s promised, beloved, eternal community.

Grounded in this understanding of the Triune God, we believe God’s intention for humanity is abundant life for all.

So begins the ELCA’s “Draft of a Social Statement on Women and Justice.” I can’t think of a better way to begin a sermon on the trinity, a better way to focus on what it means for us as Christians, and then on another level what it means for us as Lutherans, to believe in a triune God.

We believe in God as our creator, God the Word embodied in Jesus Christ who unifies us, justifies us through faith, and liberates us to serve. We believe in God the Holy Spirit who is always at work, transforming and inspiring news of living.

This is our God, three in one and one in three. This is our God.

Worshiping a triune God is, perhaps, one of the most difficult subjects to preach and to teach—worshiping a triune God challenges reason and logic. Believing in God as Creator and Savior and Holy Spirit—when I taught World Religions at Western this was one of the things students always lifted up in their critiques of Christianity: the concept is simply too complex.

Which is why the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther said, in his sermon on Trinity Sunday, that Christians need to “Renounce your reason and close your eyes; cling only to [The] Word and believe it” (Sermons of Martin Luther, vol. 3, p. 413).

When we cling to the Word we are clinging to Christ. When we cling to the Word we believe in Christ’s power to save us. When we cling to the Word we cling to Jesus, who was with God in the beginning and who was God (John 1:1). When we cling to the Word we cling to Jesus who told us “When the Spirit of truth comes, [the Spirit] will guide you into all truth… and [the Spirit] will glorify me, because [the Spirit] will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 15:13-14).

When we cling to the Word we can be imitators of the prophet Isaiah.

In our first reading today, the prophet wrote of a vision he had. Isaiah said he saw a vision of God on a throne. Isaiah said he saw angels surrounding the throne, he heard angels singing to God and to one another, singing words similar to those we sang this morning, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty…” (Isaiah 6:3). Isaiah said (to himself? To God?) “Woe is me… I am lost… I am a man of unclean lips… I live among a people of unclean lips… Yet my eyes have seen the king… (Isaiah 6:5).

Just like Isaiah, we were a lost people. We were unclean. But then Jesus came to the world, a gift of God, a gift of God’s SELF! When Jesus came to the world all of humanity saw our Sovereign God made human. And the world was saved.

In his vision, after an angel touched Isaiah’s lips with a burning coal and told Isaiah “Your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out” (Isaiah 6:7).

And then…God spoke to Isaiah, asking “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8a). And Isaiah answered God: “Here am I; send me!” (Isaiah 6:8b).

Now it is our turn.

God continues to speak to us. God continues to ask “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”

Our answer is “me.” Our answer is “we.” Send me. We will go.

God created the world, making the world good. God came to the world embodied in Jesus Christ, saving the world and calling is forward to seek justice and peace. God the Holy Spirit continues to work in us and through us, finding new ways to inspire us.

As children of God, may we be inspired to bring abundant life to all, as God intends.