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Trinity Sunday…

Today, the Sunday after Pentecost, is traditionally referred to as Trinity Sunday. It is a special day in the liturgical calendar specifically devoted to the celebration of the Trinity – God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit! It was first observed during the reign of Pope John XXII who lived from 1244-1334 A.D. and served as pope from 1316 until his death.

There are faith traditions that do not recognize the Trinity – most of them believe in God the Father but do not embrace the idea of a triune God including Jesus and the Holy Spirit. However, most Christian denominations recognize the Trinity and support the idea that as God became more intimate with His people, He revealed more of Himself to us through our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Our relationship with God started back in the Garden of Eden when God created and then entered into relationship with Adam and Eve. Then, as a baby born in Bethlehem, God sent His Son, Jesus, in human form – fully divine yet fully human, to live among us. Finally, after the ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost and the third part of what we refer to as the Godhead was revealed to us. This was the beginning of the Acts II church and the time when believers were indwelt with the Holy Spirit upon their profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, as I have said before – God above us, God among us, God in us! To Christians, this is a comforting thought. God is with us always – wherever we are, He is there!

We traditionally think of the Trinity as one God with three separate identifiable entities. Each of these different parts of the Godhead has unique attributes that identify them. While the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all co-equal, Jesus reminds us that there are things that only the Father knew during the time that Jesus was on earth. And Jesus confirms that He came to the will of His Father.

Jesus also told us that when He ascended, the Father would send another in His place to comfort us and be with us always – the Holy Spirit. While most of us think of the Trinity in this way, we can also refer to the Trinity by specific attributes that we recognize through our relationship with God.

Although less common, it is quite appropriate to refer to the Trinity as the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sustainer. It is known that God created everything, including the cosmos, and that Jesus was there in the beginning. Since the Old Testament times in the Garden of Eden, our first relationship was with God the Father, the Creator.

After the fall of mankind, God eventually revealed a path back to communion with Him through sending His Son in human form to give us an illustration of what the Father wished for us. Jesus became the path back to God, by each of us accepting the free gift of eternal life offered through accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Thus, the title Redeemer!

Finally, Jesus told us that the Father would send another to us after Jesus ascended back to heaven. That promise was fulfilled with the arrival of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers. One of the many ministries of the Holy Spirit is to pray on our behalf when we are upset, confused, hurt, angry or otherwise unable to present our petitions to God directly. This is one of the many comforts we get from the Holy Spirit – the Sustainer.

Our verse for tonight comes from the book of Matthew, where the words of Jesus are given to us. This is the famous Great Commission when Jesus charged the disciples with their mission in the world. We are told, in Matthew 28:16-20, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

My encouragement this evening is that Jesus promises that He will be with us through the end of the age – into eternity… He also reminds us that He has been given ALL authority in heaven and earth. My prayer is that we will each recognize the various parts of the Godhead and the unique attributes that each of them bless us with. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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