Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for Trinity Sunday 7th June 2020

Today is Trinity Sunday 7th June 2020.

Grace, mercy and peace
From God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Call to worship
The Word of the eternal Father created us.
The love of the gracious Son redeemed us.
The presence of the Holy Spirit unites and empowers us.
Come and worship the glorious Trinity, 
our God of power, love and peace.

A gathering prayer.
All authority on heaven has been given to you
Son of God,
Loving Lord.

You call us, you welcome us, we gather in your name
Son of God,
Loving Lord.

Teach us, heal us, and inspire us
Son of God,
Loving Lord. 

Psalm 8 
God's Glory and Human Dignity

O Lord, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
it is sung by children and babies.
You are safe and secure from all your enemies;
you stop anyone who opposes you.

When I look at the sky, which you have made,
at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—
what are human beings, that you think of them;
mere mortals, that you care for them?

Yet you made them inferior only to yourself;
you crowned them with glory and honour.
You appointed them rulers over everything you made;
you placed them over all creation:

sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too;
the birds and the fish
and the creatures in the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
your greatness is seen in all the world!

Our bible reading is Matthew 28 verse 16-20
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
16 The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. 18 Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

A Thought for the Day by Revd. Mike Sermon

Today is Trinity Sunday when in the Christian Church we celebrate three persons, three perspectives, three window views of the same one God.

God the Father and Mother of us all. The Creator who gifts life and breathe in its many forms. The Creator who made the heavens and the earth. The stars and constellations, all that is seen and unseen. The Creator who gives life purpose, meaning and direction. We do not live a purposeless life, we are not accidental creations. We are gifted, treasured and individually and collectively loved by the God who has made us. We are creative people and God invites us to join in this creative process as we relate to the world around us. We read from the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 31,

“God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Evening passed and morning came-that was the sixth day”. 
Genesis 1.31

God the Son, Jesus Christ, the long promised Messiah and Savior of his people. The one whose existence, presence and arrival fills the prophetic writings of the bible. The one whose arrival in Bethlehem was not a surprise, because it had been predicted. Although of course it was a surprise and no-one was ready for the Son of God to turn up, assume and live a fully human life. God the Son, Jesus Christ, who defines love and that very finest form of love, selfless, sacrificial love. The sort of love, that surrenders a life in order that other people may live and benefit. God the Son, Jesus Christ, the scape goat for all that is wrong in us and in our world. The scape goat upon whom all this guilt was placed, in order that it may be done away with and we might be free. We read from the book of Philippians chapter 2 verses 5-8,

“He (Christ Jesus) always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a man and appeared in human likeness”.
Philippians 2.5-8

God the Holy Spirit, not a new comer, because this spirit was present at the very beginning of creation hovering over the waters. So not a new comer, but now gifted and present in a new way as a bridge or conduit directly into the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit, is like an open mic or microphone. Always alert, always present, always picking up the murmurings, voices and whispers of creation and God’s people. Our every prayer, our every utterance conveyed directly to God. When Jesus Christ was preparing for his ascension and his return to his heavenly Father, he promised to send to those who follow him another comforter and helper to accompany and guide them. This promise was fulfilled at Pentecost, as the Holy Spirit came among the believers forever connecting them and the whole of creation to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit, tells us and reassures us that we are not alone, whatever we may be feeling in this present moment. It is because of the Holy Spirit, that we cannot escape the presence of God. As the psalmist reminds us in psalm 139 and verses 7-12,

“Where could I go to escape from you?
Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east
or lived in the farthest place in the west,
you would be there to lead me,
you would be there to help me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
or the light around me to turn into night,
but even darkness is not dark for you,
and the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to you”.
Psalm 139 verses 7-12

The concept and idea of the trinity, three persons and yet one God can be a stumbling block for some people. But these three persons, these three perspectives, these three window views of the one God, allow us different access points and ways of connecting with God. But all these faith pathways lead to one God the Creator and maker of us all.

A helpful illustration, sometimes offered is that of water, ice and steam. Three perspectives, three window views upon the same chemical elements H2O. The different appearances only determined by temperature. In essence water, ice and steam are one. They are the same thing and so it is with the trinity. God the Father and Mother of us all, God the Son Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit, they are all one. One God to be loved, worshipped and adored. Amen.

Let us pray,
Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
deepen our faith and strengthen our resolve
to proclaim your gospel of love and to make disciples across your world.

Revd. Mike Sermon Vicar St Paul’s Blackheath, Priest in Charge St James’ Rounds Green (video clip on our Facebook page)

We have a gospel to proclaim,
good news for all throughout the earth;
the gospel of a Savior’s name:
we sing his glory, tell his worth.

Copyright © the Revd. Edward J Burns

Our prayers.
Where there is conflict between nations and within nations;
where people live in fear of the bullet and the bomb;
when parents weep for children who have been killed:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

In homes filled with anger, cruelty and neglect;
where there are no safe places;
where poverty and addiction bring suffering and pain:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

To those whose minds are tormented by depression and anxiety;
to those whose hold on life is fragile;
to those whose lives are filled with stress:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

To those who are nearing the end of life;
to those who love and care for them:
God of peace,
may your peace be known.

May your peace be known to us,
and may we be bearers of your peace in our world. 

A sending out prayer
May the grace of the Father be with you; 
may the love of the Son enfold you; 
and may the peace of the Spirit comfort you, 
today and always.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Copyright © The Revd. Edward J Burns
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd. Reproduced with permission.