Creation in Three Parts 

Creation in Three Parts

Trinity Sunday
Pastor Mitch Coggin May 26, 2024 Trinity Sunday

Today is Trinity Sunday. The Trinity is a radical notion that God is not only Creator and Sovereign, but also Suffering Servant and Empowering Spirit, not only greater than we can imagine but also just like us, not only out there in the world, but also personal to us; in our hearts. I’ve heard that we don’t need to explain the Trinity, we need to experience it. We experience the Trinity through God’s work and activity in our lives.

Each Sunday we sing lyrics and read scripture and their meaning for us cannot be understated. We are going to start out with a commissioning. A commissioning is a statement of promise. We commission persons getting ready to serve the greater church, like the General Assembly. We commision Elders to service. Jesus gave what is known as the great commission to all of us, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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.” We are the sent ones.

Our own commissioning will help us respond to God’s call to us that we hear in the scriptures we read and the hymns we sing today. I encourage us to listen carefully to the questions and respond to each with “I will with the help of God.”

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, will you dare to walk into God’s future, trusting God to be your guide?

Will you dare to embrace each other and grow together in love? Will you dare to share your riches in common and minister to and with each other in need?

Will you dare to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God?

Will you dare to carry the light of Christ into the world’s bleak places? May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost, breathe into you life and bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ. Amen.

You’ve just made a promise to God’s call to each of us.

Isaiah 6 is the story of Isaiah’s call to prophecy in the year King Uzziah died. Uzziah had been an effective King for over 50 years who had delivered economic, military and spiritual prosperity. The King tried to serve God but forgot he was an earthly king. His own arrogance led to his death. After the King’s death, Isaiah had a vision.

Isaiah describes that in his vision he sees the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lofty. The angels’ wings covered their faces and their feet that symbolized their readiness and service. The angels began talking to one another and worshipping God singing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah cried in response, “Woe is me I am a man of unclean lips.”

In the hymn based on this scripture, we sang, “Holy, holy, holy, though the darkness hides thee, though our eyes in sinfulness, thy glory may not see. Only thou art holy, there is none beside thee. Perfect in power, in love and purity.” The hymn describes God’s greatness through creation. Yet, God comes to us through our own weakness, through our own experience as humans with struggles.

Isaiah utters his confession, “Woe is me, I am lost, for I am a man with unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” The seraphim flew to him with a burning coal, a live coal that had been taken from the altar and touched his mouth, and in that moment, he was free of his guilt and his sin was forgiven.

We struggle to admit our wrongs, our failures; but only in doing so with brutal honesty with ourselves and with God can we come to the realization that only with God’s forgiveness are we restored and made whole. That is what happened to Isaiah. The significance of that is a reminder that there is no way to know God without being changed.

In our own experience of worship, we, too, begin with praise in the opening hymn and call to worship. “The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence.” Like Isaiah, we respond to God with our own prayer of confession. We express our own sinfulness, our own failure, our own faults. And we do that with an awareness that we, too, are dependent on God’s forgiveness and salvation.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Only then could Isaiah move forward and do what the Lord wanted him to do next. The challenge of Isaiah’s sending is that God tells Isaiah to go speak to the people and tell them that they would hear but they wouldn’t understand, they would hear but they wouldn’t perceive. Their hearts would become calloused and their ears would become dull. Isaiah’s sending is not going to be easy at all.

Do you dare to walk into God’s future, trusting God to be your guide? Do you dare to pray, “Here am I; send me”

Paul reminds us in Romans 8, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

In the hymn of promise we sang: There is a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me. In our end is our beginning, in our time infinity, in our doubt there is believing, in our life eternity, in our death, a resurrection, at the last a victory. Unrevealed, until its season, something God alone can see.

Our next hymn is a response to the question posed to us like it was to Isaiah:

Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord.