Posted by on May 28, 2021 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on God So Loved the World

This Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost. From this Sunday, until the first Sunday in Advent, we are going to be looking at what Jesus does in our lives. We are going to be looking again at the lessons Jesus was telling his disciples as they were preparing for their mission, that begins the day after Pentecost.

The gospel lesson for Trinity Sunday is from John 3:1-17. The Trinity is not an easy thing to explain, but in my preparation for this Sunday, I realized that we have been considering the three persons in the Trinity in the last several weeks.

Let me explain. We have acknowledged that God created the world. We know that God was responsible for all of creation. God was also the one who spoke to the Old Testament prophets and were given the words to prepare those who read the scriptures for the appearance of Jesus. Remember that last week, Luke reported that Peter was speaking to the eleven disciples and quoted the section from the prophet Joel, who told of the coming of the Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Another striking example of this inspiration from God comes in Psalm 22, when it is recorded that Jesus garments will be divided among those who crucified him, as they cast lots for his clothing. In many instances, the New Testament writers also include the verses and sentences in the Old Testament and equate them to occurrences in the New Testament.

We have experienced, through our worship, the birth, teachings, death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus. We have experienced his baptism by John the Baptist, that began his mission to gather disciples who would proclaim the word of God as well as to proclaim God’s promises to them. We have rejoiced with Jesus when people turned to God after they had heard the promises and experienced healing.

Then, as Jesus was with the disciples in His last days on earth, he proclaimed that there would be an Advocate, a helper, coming to them. This helper couldn’t come until Jesus had ascended to His Father. This Advocate would help the disciples move through their mission as they had been prepared for by Jesus. This Advocate would protect them, teach them, speak to them and guide them in the paths they were to take to continue the mission of bringing the gospel to the whole world.

These many examples really spoke to me that we have seen the Trinity in operation not only through this past year in our studies, but also in our lives as we live our life committed to God and His promises. It became fairly clear to me that God loves the world he created. He loves this world so much that He knew he had to send His son, as a human, to shed His blood for the forgiveness of the sins of those who accepted Jesus as Son of God. God also knew that there needed to be another avenue for those who accepted His Son and accepted the challenges of living and moving through the world to be strengthened, taught, and protected. So, he sent the Holy Spirit to us all.

In our gospel reading from John 3, we see Nicodemus approaching Jesus in the darkness of night. He acknowledges that Jesus was sent from God because of the signs Jesus performs. However, Nicodemus cannot acknowledge that those who follow God and who study the word of God must accept what God has done. It appears that Nicodemus, even though he is a scholar and a teacher in the temple, only listens to and accepts a part of what God does, what God has done and what is needed to be born anew of the water and the spirit.

Jesus even mentioned to Nicodemus that the Old Testament scriptures taught the necessity of new birth. However, he, along with the other Jewish leaders refused to accept this concept. He was only thinking without allowing his mind to be opened up to what Jesus was actually saying to him. He refused to accept that he, along with the Jewish leaders, needed the spiritual birth of accepting Jesus and his words, as well as what he had been reading in the Old Testament. He couldn’t open his heart to what Jesus was teaching him.

Did you catch the phrase in verse 11 of our gospel when Jesus is talking with Nicodemus and says, ‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do no receive our testimony.” What “we speak”. That is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit teaching those in the temple.

Then, in verse 16, John summarizes what he is writing. That God loved His world so much that He gave His only Son so that people will believe His words with both mind and heart and will have eternal life. How do we exhibit that we are members of God’s family? We repeatedly acknowledge that we believe in God and Jesus with both our heart and mind. How do we show this in our world?

Yes…this is our challenge this Trinity Sunday. Do we continue to seek the truths that God is presenting to us? Do we listen to the Holy Spirit guiding us in our everyday lives? Do we believe that Jesus was the Son of God and through his death on the cross, we are forgiven of our sins and can come directly to God, our father?

Know that you are made new and renewed in the Spirit by God and challenged to tell the story and bring the gospel message to all people in our words and our actions.




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