Trinity Sunday, Year B

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
Pentecost 16, Holy Eucharist II, Year B August 26, 2018 Proper 16, Year B Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69
Pentecost 7, Holy Eucharist II, Year B July 8, 2018 Pentecost 7, Proper 9, Year B Mark 6:1-13, Ezekiel 2:1-5
Pentecost 6, Holy Eucharist II, Year B July 1, 2018 Proper 8, Year B Lamentations 3:21-23, Mark 5:21-43
Pentecost 5, Holy Eucharist II, Year B June 24, 2018 Pentecost 5, Proper 7, Year B Job 38:1-11,Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32,2 Corinthians 6:1-13,Mark 4:35-41
Pentecost 4, Holy Eucharist II, Year B June 17, 2018 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 6, Year B Ezekiel 17:22-24, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17, Mark 4: 26-34
Pentecost 3, Holy Eucharist II, Year B June 10, 2018 Pentecost 3, Proper 5, Year B 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Pentecost 2, Holy Eucharist II, Year B June 3, 2018 Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, Proper 4 Mark 2:23-3:6
Trinity Sunday, Year B May 27, 2018 Trinity Sunday, Year B John 3:1-17; Romans 8:12-17; Canticle 13
Pentecost, Year B May 20, 2018 Day of Pentecost, Year B Acts 2:1-21, Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:22-27, Psalm 104:25-35, 37, John 15:26-27;16:4b-15
Easter 7, Year B May 13, 2018 The Seventh Sunday in Easter, Year B John 17:6-19
Easter 4, Year B April 22, 2018 The Fourth Sunday in Easter, Year B Psalm 23, Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18
Easter 5, Year B April 22, 2018 The Fifth Sunday in Easter, Year B John 15:1-8
Easter 2, Commemoration of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, 2018 April 8, 2018 Easter 2, Commemoration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Luke 6:27-36, Ephesians 6:10-20
Easter Sunday April 1, 2018 Easter, Year B John 20:1-18
Sunrise service, 2018 – “The Road to Emmaus” April 1, 2018 Easter Luke 24:13-35

 

Trinity Sunday, Year B

Sermon Date:May 27, 2018

Scripture: John 3:1-17; Romans 8:12-17; Canticle 13

Liturgy Calendar: Trinity Sunday, Year B


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This Sunday is known as Trinity Sunday on our church calendar, the only Sunday in the year devoted to a doctrine of the church.

Our Christian God is a three-fold God, one in three and three in one.  In worship, we refer to God as God:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  When we say our creeds, we specifically express our belief in God, the creator of heaven and earth, Jesus, God’s only Son and our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life.

This doctrine of the Trinity is lifegiving and can us joy and hope in the midst of death and despair.

So it’s no wonder that in today’s gospel, Jesus talks with Nicodemus about birth and new life. 

When our mothers push us out into the world, we are squishy blue little bodies that quickly take on color as air enters our lungs for the first time and our faces turn bright red as we scream some oxygen into our lungs. 

Our miraculous bodies carry us through our lives, and finally, like everything else on earth, we age and wear out, and die, and our bodies, in their current form, return to dust, and what was once our flesh enters once more into the great cycle of life—that dust becoming the soil from which perhaps an apple tree, laden with russet red fruit, may grow.

But Jesus tells Nicodemus about a different sort of birth, the resurrecting birth that we Christians enter into and experience over and over and ever more deeply as we age, even as our physical bodies find themselves turning back into dust. 

To enter into this resurrecting birth, we must be willing to enter into the great Trinitarian womb through which we are born again and again into ever larger and richer and longer and at last never ending lives. 

A quick biology review is in order here.  For a baby to form in a mother’s womb, a three-fold life support is necessary. 

The three parts of this life support system are the placenta, the umbilical cord, and the amniotic sac. 

In the Trinitarian womb into which we Christians can enter and  find rebirth, God serves as the placenta. 

In a mother’s body, the placenta is rich with the mother’s blood.  I’d forgotten how the placenta works—what a miracle!

Blood vessels carrying the baby’s blood run through the placenta, and nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s blood are transferred into the baby’s blood, as waste products are taken from the baby’s blood into the mother’s blood—and yet these two blood supplies do not mix.   

Now isn’t that God?  We aren’t God, our lives are separate from God, but through God’s very being, God gives us all we need to grow, and rids us of the things that are wasteful and sinful in our lives.  What an intimate, lifegiving, cleansing process goes on in the placenta.   

And Jesus! 

In the great Trinitarian womb, Jesus is our umbilical cord.

In a mother’s body, the umbilical cord attaches the placenta (God) to the growing baby (us).  This cord is the lifeline between the mother and the baby.  Jesus is our life line to God.

And I LOVE this part!  In the umbilical cord are THREE, that’s right, THREE blood vessels, two which carry the baby’s blood to the placenta, and one which returns blood to the growing baby.  This cord is long, and allows the baby plenty of room to move around safely.  Without this flow of blood between the mother and the baby through the cord,  the baby would die.  Jesus, the one who connects us with God, gives us plenty of room to move around,   but Jesus always keeps us alive and connected to God.  Without our connection to God through Jesus, our spirits wither away and we die, even though in all outward appearances we seem to be alive. 

And then there’s the amniotic sac, the Holy Spirit.

In the mother’s body, the amniotic sac gives the growing baby room to move around, to swim in the amniotic fluid as the baby’s muscles develop.  The fluid provides protection from external pressure, from bumps and knocks.    And to keep the baby comfortable, the amniotic fluid maintains a slightly higher temperature, around 99.7F. 

The Holy Spirit protects us from the bumps and scrapes and aggravations and death dealing events that we experience in our lives.  When we live and move and have our being in the Holy Spirit, we are comfortable and protected from outside forces even as we move and grow.

When we spend time in the Trinitarian womb and are born again into this world, this is the birth that Jesus is telling Nicodemus about, the birth of the Spirit. 

This way of thinking of the Trinity reminds us, as Jesus reminded Nicodemus, of the importance of being born, of being made new, over and over and over, so that we can grow closer and closer to God, living  in the world, and yet still in the process of being reborn  in the safety and protection of the Trinitarian womb.

We get reborn every time we take the time to pray.  Our prayers are like the blood vessels of the baby in the womb, running through God, and through prayer, God gives us nutrients and lifegiving oxygen.  Through prayer, God hears about the awful waste in our lives, and through God’s mercy, purifies us and takes all that sin and waste away. 

We Christians pray through Jesus, the One who connects and keeps our very life blood linked to God, our source of life. 

And when we sit down to pray, we enter into the warmth and protection of the Holy Spirit.  In prayer we can strengthen our spiritual muscles.  In prayer we can grow more faithful, more loving, more forgiving, and more gracious. 

So prayer is one of the main ways that we come to know the lifegiving love of God in the protection and challenge of living in the Spirit, through the lifegiving connection to God through Jesus. 

As Paul tells the Romans, when we pray, and cry out to God, it is the very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.  Our fears of death drop away, because we are constantly being reborn into new life.   

At its very heart, prayer is praise.  Praise for life, praise for new birth, praise for God, our parent, praise for Jesus, our Lord, praise for the Holy Spirit.  And so no wonder that today we sing,

“Glory to you, O God of our fathers, you are worthy of praise, glory to you!”

So let’s give glory to our three fold God, and give thanks for new birth, and for the privilege of being part of God’s new creation, coming ever closer to being born on this earth. 

Amen.  

References

Spoon River Anthology – Edgar Lee Masters 

http://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/fetal-life-support-system/

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