Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 06:47:56 -0500
On Sunday June 15 2003 22:24, Jim Scarborough wrote:
> Today is Fathers' Day and Trinity Sunday at once. The sermon this morning
> was on John 3:1-17, wherein Nicodemus just doesn't get it, and the crux of
> the sermon was "the Trinity is a mystery." So I set about to understand a
> little more. Not being a theologean, I don't purport to know, but
> thought you might appreciate my sharing the results of my exploration of
> the topic this morning.
> The Holy Trinity is the basic idea that God is one in three - the Father,
> the Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). God is many things to many
> people, and none of us can fully appreciate the wonder, but that shouldn't
> stop exploration!
> The Holy Spirit might be thought of as an Ether of Love. That is, the
> Spirit fills the universe with a medium through which love may be conveyed,
> sprinkles some love in, and it blows like the wind. Jesus mentioned the
> wind (using a word that also means "spirit" according to this morning's
> sermon) in John 3:5-8: "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom
> of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to
> flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised
> at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it
> pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or
> where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
> The Son is easy to understand and tricky at the same time. It's easy to
> recall the man who walked the earth 2000 years ago, was crucified, died,
> and buried, and on the third day he arose from the dead, ascended into
> heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. But
> doesn't that mean he's dead or no longer with us? No, we are all a part of
> the body of Christ. First, in Mark 14:22-24 Jesus explains of bread, "Take
> it; this is my body," and of wine, "This is my blood of the covenant which
> is poured out for many." He goes on to foreshadow his death - and perhaps
> continual communion as we take our daily bread, "I will not drink again of
> the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of
> God." In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul writes a clear explanation that
> everyone is important to the Church, that each person is a genuine member
> of the body of Christ, and in verse 27 he writes, "Now you are the body of
> Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." We are all a part of Christ,
> and we share in the wonder, mystery, and responsibility of leading a good
> life. When we love, as members of the body of Christ, we add to the ether -
> the Spirit.
> The Father is our Shepherd. We consult with the Father for advice. He
> guides us daily and helps us find our way. Psalm 23:1-4 explains the
> Father: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie
> down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my
> soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even
> though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
> evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
> "God in three persons, blessed Trinity," says the closing hymn from today's
> service. Yes, truly wonderful, that all our corporeal and spiritual needs
> can be met by God alone. God is all of these things and plenty more that I
> don't know about. Keep exploring, learning about God in your own way, and
> pray that your exploration leads you on a fantastic journey.
I tried to go to the Men's Bible Study class at 6:30 this morning, but come to find out 1 didn't know the location, so I'll write down the pillow talk from last night during the same time period in hopes that my sharing it will inspire you or otherwise help along your journey.
The implications of all of us people being part part of the body of Christ are profound and wonderful. It puts us on the Trinity triangle and bestows upon us the privileges and responsibilities of being Christ directly ourselves.
Triangles appear frequently in architecture because of their strength. Push on one side of the triangle, and it shares its burden with the other two sides. Likewise with the Trinity. When the Father finds his sheep running astray, he can call upon the body of Christ to guide them. When the body of Christ encounters tribulations on Earth, the Father and the Spirit are there to relieve the pressures. Should the Spirit run short on love, the other two step in to fill the gap.
Along with direct membership in the Holy Support Network, we find ourselves with the responsibility of carrying ourselves in a manner consistent with Christ - as we are a part of the body of Christ. (No, we don't have to perform a miracle a day, but we must love our neighbors and be good people.) The responsibility is not a difficult one, because through the mystery of communion, He brings us into the Holy Support Network.
What about "the holy catholic church"? We profess believe in it frequently on Sunday, and the asterisk says "catholic" means "universal." The church is the body of Christ and the people make up the church, so the collection of all believers is the holy catholic church. And WOW what a church it is - full of caring people who will take care of you when you need it. And it's your personal junction with the Holy Trinity.
In Titus 3:3-7 an aged Paul writes to a rough-and-tumble group of people, "At one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
My (recent) story reads like Paul's from Titus. Things were difficult in 1998-99. Elizabeth (a part of the body of Christ) showed up and introduced me to the Holy Spirit, who poured out His Love on me such that I might be convinced, and I married her and the Church at the same time. Today, I attempt to explore more the Trinity and God, and I'm amazed by what I find.
When I was about 6 years old, I saw a man on TV tell me Jesus was knocking at the door to my heart, and I should invite Him in. As a literalist (which I still am, though I can now appreciate a good metaphor) I had considerable trouble even finding the door on my heart, let alone noticing the knock or understanding how to invite Him in. But today, with my imperfect understanding of the Trinity, I gladly rise to the challenge of being a part of the body of Christ, to go forth and share the love (which does not mean to badger through recruiting tactics).
Is God my /personal/ Savior? "For God so loved [Jim] that he gave His only Son, that [if Jim] should believe in Him, [he] shall not perish but have everlasting life." Suppose God knows all - the number of hairs on my head, and the fact that I'd be here today. Then God knew when Jesus died that would be saved by that action. Pretty neat. It's also impressive to think that by dying, Jesus became the savior for whomever shall believe in Him.
Rejoice as you eat bread today. Find some grape juice, too; Paul Harvey tells me it's good for your heart. :-)
What is this everlasting life thing, and where is Heaven? I was talking to Elizabeth last week, before the Trinity made any sense, and I said to die and go to heaven is to merge with the ether (a.k.a. Holy Spirit). It makes good sense still, as you can join the remainder of Jesus who ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Live on through the love. Fantastic!
Make yours a magnificent week this week, and remember to share every day with God - lean on the Trinity as you need to, and remember, you're always connected!