Trinity Sunday, June 7th, 2020
Trinity Sunday historically for me, has been interesting to witness how clergy seem to try and avoid preaching on this subject. I remember a fellow clergy that was also a mentor to young priests in training. Often on Wednesday evening services, he would walk up before we prayed prior to entering the sanctuary and look at a young seminarian and say, “Why don’t you preach tonight?” Immediately you would see this young person with a look of fear and trepidation coming over their face and they would say, something like, “You want me to preach tonight?” With a smile, the priest would say, “Yes, it’s all yours.”
Usually before accepting another seminarian, he would interview them and during the conversation, would mention the possibility during the interview. This was so the seminarian would take it in a non-threatening manner, and their acceptance of this part of the job would be reminded to them later. There was, a purpose for doing this, and not just to mess with the individual, it was to prepare them to be ready at any time, to preach, therefore they had to be prepared to do so. Of course, once he pulled this out of his hat, so to speak, the seminarian was forever ready to preach, no matter what!
The Book of Matthew puts emphasis on four doctrines to give certainty to a questioning church: 1) Jesus is the Messiah prophesied by Scripture; 2) Jesus’ teachings are he new law for the church; 3) The kingdom of heaven is both present and future reality; 4: The church is the new community of faith. Matthew emphasized the fact that Jesus was the Jews’ expected Messiah. The term “Messiah” means “Anointed One.” It had come to signify the ideal king, David’s descendant, who would free the Jews from Roman rule and establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus did not accept this understanding of messiahship. He was the messianic King, but He chose to take on the role of Isaiah’s “Suffering Servant.”
By His death, Jesus provides freedom from sin, no from foreign rule. His kingdom is a spiritual one. Jews would ask Him if he was abolishing the old law, that which we call the Old Testament, and His answer was no, that He came to fulfill the Law. Jesus’ law goes beyond the letter of the Old Testament law to require an inner purity and love like that of God Himself. So you it’s easy to see God, our Creator has not changed, and Jesus is only extending the Old Law that people were seemingly have trouble adhering to anyway.
So Jesus, at least in the account of Matthew, is teaching doctrine to Jews that had become Christians, because they had always used the Torah, the Old Testament. The other accounts were doing similar teachings on Jesus, just from different perspectives. So again, Jesus reassured those familiar with the Old Testament by tell them He came to fulfill the Law not getting rid of it, as He was more concerned with the establishment of the kingdom on earth, and preparing the people for what is to come when He returns.
Jesus throughout His teachings especially with His disciples, talked at length about God’s Spirit and that when He left this earth, He would ask the Father for a Counselor, to give us comfort and guidance in our lives. He was speaking of God’s Spirit or the “Holy Spirit.” Jesus even modeled this for us. Many times He would be overwhelmed and tired and would move away from the people and even His disciples, to pray and to regain strength for the work He must do. He told His disciples that after He died and was resurrected, that He would make sure they received the same well of strength and guidance and solace for their own lives.
In today’s Gospel account, The resurrection underscored Jesus’ absolute authority over the universe. The Father gave the Son the authority. The baptismal formula reveals Jesus is divine, a member of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). His authority means that He deserves absolute obedience. His promised presence shows His authority on absolute love and care.
The last message Jesus left His disciples was a call to evangelize. That is our primary calling. This commission involves all the ingredients to the successful work of the church. Christ’s authority provides power in and through the Holy Spirit. Christ sent His disciples and all who would become His disciples authority to follow Him. New disciples are to be integrated by baptism into the church so spiritual growth can take place. They are to be taught the Lord’s ways. Jesus promised to be involved in the task with us, He won’t forget or forsake us, ever!
Beloved, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to carry on this mission until the moment He returns. God’s people take this passage seriously, world evangelization is not only possible, but it will flourish!
So, Trinity Sunday is a celebration of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, which are available to all of us, by our acceptance of God through His Son, our Savior Jesus. And for this acceptance, we are also given the Holy Spirit for our counsel and guidance for our daily lives.
So I’ll leave you with this final verses in Chapter 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of he 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.” Amen.