NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR JUNE 15, 2014
This Sunday is known in Western liturgical circles as “Trinity Sunday”. The term “Trinity” is not found in the Bible at all. The Trinity is the concept attempting to describe the mystery of the Christian faith of one God manifested in Three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The notion of three persons, however, makes it difficult to conceptualize that there is only one God. Thus, it’s a mystery!
I believe a more understandable meaning of the “Trinity” is to know that it does NOT try to explain God, but rather describes the 3 manifestations through which the One God chose to reveal God’s self to humanity; as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
While the manifestation of God the Son resided briefly on this earthly plain in human flesh (Jesus the Christ), The One Eternal God is not a human person as we are persons. The Gospels make it explicitly clear that God is a Spirit and all who worship God must do so in Spirit and in Truth. Growing up, I remember singing several songs in my church background that spoke of God as “a father for the fatherless, a mother for the motherless, a doctor in the sick room, a lawyer in the courtroom, and etc.” I came to understand later that the implication being made was NOT that God was all these different persons, but that the Father of all creation cares deeply about what happens to me; and “seen or unseen: the Father is always there” loving and watching over me. So, on this Father’s Day, I think it is helpful to remember a couple of things about God as the Heavenly Father.
God the Father’s love doesn’t protect us from life’s problems that come in different ways but are common to all of us. If it did, we would never grow into responsible, competent, mature people of faith. The reality is that overcoming obstacles produces character and competence and brings out the best in us if we deal with life in an attitude of faith and love. So this doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us or forgotten us. It simply means that “seen or unseen: the Father is always there” loving us.
I should quickly add that while God the Father’s love does not protect us from life’s problems, neither are life’s problems God’s punishment upon us for our sins. On one occasion, Jesus’ disciples saw a blind man begging and the first thing out of their mouths was to ask Jesus “Who sinned that he should be in this condition?” Jesus replied, “NO ONE!” Yet, how often do we blame ourselves and ultimately blame God, when life deals us a difficult blow. “God must be using this sickness [this death or this terrible misfortune] that has happened to me to punish me for some sin!” No! … 1000 times NO! Grief is tragic enough without adding to it the crushing burden of guilt!
As a result of the redemptive work offered to us by the Father of all creation, we live under the rule of grace. Now, it is true that we have to live with the consequences of our misdoings. If I abuse my body, sooner or later it will catch up with me. If I cheat on my income taxes and get caught, Uncle Sam will punish me. However, in terms of my relationship with God, all of my sins are buried at the bottom of the deepest sea never to surface again.
As followers of Christ, if we believe that Jesus has atoned for our sins, we cannot believe that God is using some adverse circumstance to punish us. The two are mutually exclusive. And the good news is that “seen or unseen, the Father is always there” forgiving and loving us.
So join us in worship this Trinity Sunday and Father’s Day to hear more about this. I’ll be preaching a sermon titled “Seen or Unseen: The Father Is Always There” based on the scriptural text of John 14:15-17.