Trinity Sunday (11 June 2017)

Triquetra with circle

Readings: Genesis 1:1-2:3, Matthew 28:16-20

The Genesis 1 creation story is included here on Trinity Sunday because it is read back into it that the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters, and God the Father spoke his Word (which is Jesus, read back from John 1).  I find it a rather long throw myself.  Notwithstanding that, it is indeed the one true and living God who creates.  How it is done I care not; how long it took I care not.  Such is the nature of ancient stories like this not to tell history, but the reason for things.  And the reason for things is God.

It forms a solid statement, half made, because a different creation story is offered in Genesis 2-3 which explains how God’s good creation went bad.  Again, I care not for the literal nature of the story, but that the evil of which humanity seems most guilty is to try to define right and wrong, good and bad, and ignore God’s advice on the subject.

So it is to our day that people complain against the creation stories, assuming they attempt to be literal accounts of history, when the ancients themselves would have not thought such nonsense.  So it is not strange thing that Christians seek to understand God’s good create through science, finding no contradiction between science and the Bible.  One seeks to tell you how it comes to be there – that is, who is responsible; they other attempts to explain how it was done.

I am a Christian with a scientific mind.  I grew up with both the bible and science, and I find no problem between the two.  It frustrates me that so many do.

But it also amazes me when I witness miracles of God – when in answer to prayer God does suspends the laws of nature and does an act of recreation in our very presence.  That alone should give us reason to believe God is capable of this whole creation, and perhaps even cause us to suspect strongly that maybe only God could be responsible.

We moved from the Genesis 1 “creation epic” as it is sometimes called, through to the last words of Jesus to his disciples, according to Matthew.

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

According to John:1 all authority belonged to Jesus from the beginning, but that aside this is the biggest claim in the history of creation – all authority in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus.  If that is true, then it is best to listen to what he has to say.

What will it be?  Go into the world and feed the hungry?  Cloth the naked?  Defend the weak?  Seek justice?  Indeed those belong in the list under “everything I thought you” because that is loving your neighbour, and being a loving neighbour.  But it is not those things he puts first.

The first and primarily thing is this:

Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (that’s why we read this on Trinity Sunday)

And then teach them what I have taught you – what is the Kingdom of heaven like?  How to have faith in Jesus?  About answers to prayer?  About loving God and neighbour (though this was re-taught by Jesus). About accepting persecution.  About valuing the treasures of heaven above the things of this world.

This is our number one call as human being won back by Jesus – to lead other people to life in Jesus.  No matter what anyone says, this is the first and greatest purpose of the Christian church.  Not so that we might be big and successful, but so others will get to live the way God designed.

There is such a guilt trip around our motivations.  Do I desire a big and successful church?  Not for my own comfort and ease of living.  But for the sake of Jesus who died for this purpose, and for the sake of those who don’t have the life of the Holy Spirit living in them, or the hope of glory in their hearts, I certainly want that!

Don’t be ashamed to want to grow!  Big sporting clubs are proud of their size and strength.  So are big businesses.  In fact so is everyone else in the world.

But church carries with it – we carry with us – the one great hope of the world.  Without it the universe is devoid of all meaning, and life isn’t worth living.  Jesus is the Lord of life, and he invites us into that life.  Through us he is inviting others into that life.

If you know you don’t have that life, or you’re not sure, hear me this morning – Jesus invites you into his life – full, complete God-centred life that will be eternal and full of purpose and promise.

This is why we’re here.  That is why we’re here in church, but also why we’re on this planet.  This is the reason.  Please don’t let the reason for it all pass you by, as though there were more important things to be doing.

Pointing to the very purpose of the universe, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples” – lead people to me so they might live.  Don’t pass it by! Don’t let it pass you by!

You can take a hold of Jesus today as simply as a prayer, and I invite you to do that with me now.