Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Are counting on getting into heaven by confessing the true faith of the eternal Trinity?
Will those get into heaven who never heard of the doctrine of the Trinity and professed only “Jesus is Lord” 100, 200, 300+ years before the doctrine of the Trinity was “ratified” in the creeds?
The thief on the next cross asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into his Kingdom. There is no record that Jesus turned to him and said, “Do you want cheap grace?! First you must say after me, wired to heaven’s best lie detector, ‘I believe in one God, the father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our lord. I believe in the Holy Spirit….’ What! Don’t nod off! This is serious business."
Small wonder that some rectors take off for a mini vacation on Trinity Sunday. Easter was a long season. Let the seminarian preach today. She will likely know the latest breaking news regarding the Trinity. And failing that, St. Patrick will bind all of them unto himself when they sing the rousing No. 370. That hymn alone is worth the whole bother of getting up and to church on a fine Sunday in June.
Isaiah rescues the seminarian. This is one of 5 or 6 great ‘call’ stories in Scripture. Liturgy raises it to a high art form, with hot coals, incense, seraphs. The Trinity is not explicit in the passage, but ‘holy’ is said three times, and that three-fold affirmation will have to suffice. Isaiah’s mouth is burned clean with the coals and so he is now clean enough to go for God, to speak for the holy one.
As the seraphs in Isaiah pay obeisance to God in great splendor, so do those who say the Psalm ‘ascribe to the Lord the Glory dues his name. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. ….
Saint strikes rather a different note from Isaiah and the psalmist.. They actively praise God to assure God of the glory God is due. Saint is concerned lest Christians become so obeisant that they forget the purpose of salvation: “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
Try making a list of all that you are heir to as a Child of God.
Frequently I am asked to speak on panels where people debate whether salvation is even available to a gay person like myself. Yet God refocuses the discussion: Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered are joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Beware, however, once you understand that you really are joint heir with the lord of the universe, you also find yourself bound with a new way of thinking: let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who did not take equality with God as a thing to be exploited, but humbled himself, even to death on the cross. That’s attitude!
Jesus told Nicodemus that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven he must be born again. Nichodemus asked, “How can that be? Shall I enter my mother’s womb again.” No, Jesus said, Get a life! Get a new one. Be born again by acquiring a new spirit.
A transgendered friend talked to me of the night before her transition.
As a child and as a teenager, for years I would kneel each night by my bed and pray, ‘O God, please let me wake up a girl.’
It never happened, and in college I pretty much abandoned the church since God did not seem very interested in me. Yet here I was in the hospital, and I felt this great need. I knelt beside my bed and prayed. 'Tomorrow I will be a woman. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.'