Trinity Sunday

Bible Text: Genesis 1:1-2, Genesis 1:4, Psalm 8, Matthew 28:16-20 | Preacher: Rev. Jenn Geddes

 I recently read the following quote on a colleague’s Facebook page, “Abraham was really old, Jacob was a liar, Moses had a stuttering problem, David was an adulterer, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran away from God, Job went bankrupt, John the baptist ate bugs, Martha worried about everything, Zacchaeus was really short, Paul was a murderer, Timothy was young and Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called.” Perhaps this is what Trinity Sunday is all about because that statement is no truer for me, I’m not perfect, than anyone of my colleagues, but also no truer for the disciples who fell asleep during prayer, had petty arguments, often misunderstood, and even denied Jesus. However, for all their imperfections, our Trinitarian God gave and equipped the disciples with moments of true discipleship and the verses we hear from Matthew’s gospel gives us a clear look at what it means to be disciples of Jesus.

We have to remember that preceding our passage the Gospel of Matthew is very dramatic. There is a lot that goes on in a very short period of time. Jesus dies, then there is an earthquake, an angel rolls away the stone, the women show up at the tomb to find it empty. Jesus suddenly appears to them and asks them to pass along a message to the disciples. The women go to the disciples and tell them to go to Galilee, where it all began, and where Jesus will meet them. Aside from these unearthly events, in the background there are rumours that it is the disciples who have stolen the body, that Jesus has in fact not risen from the dead but rather this is one big hoax. We even read that this is the story most people have been told to this day. That it is all just a lie.

In Matthew’s gospel none of the disciples have a resurrection experience at the tomb. All of them have received this strange and unbelievable message from the women. As a result they are beginning to listen to these rumours and some of them are debating whether the resurrection is true. However, all of them are curious to see what will happen and so they travel to the mountain in Galilee. The disciples are as diverse as us. They all have their questions, their curiosities, their strengths, their weaknesses, their moments of true belief and their moments of total doubt.

We all have different stories about how we ended up here. Some of those stories are about unwavering faith, strong convictions, and trust in God. But I bet there are also lots of stories about doubt, struggle, curiousity, and expectations. No matter how we have gotten here it is in setting out on the journey that discipleship begins to take root.

When the disciples reach the mountain Jesus appears, some see and begin to worship. This is a true mountaintop experience. Imagine the elation, the joy, and the reverence. But what we often forget is that the text says “and some doubted”. This doubt however does not make the doubters have any less of a mountaintop experience. Doubt is a part of the process. This is “Trinity Sunday”. The Trinity is one of the most abstract mysteries of faith, how do we explain this three in one, how do we explain the distinct but the same characteristics. Through doubt we are able to formulate some answers and ask greater questions. On this mountain, among these disciples there is both worship and uncertainty, devotion and hesitancy. This mixture of faith and doubt are characteristics of discipleship as well.

Like the disciples we receive the message to go to where Jesus will meet us. We trust that Jesus will be here and for many that is enough to offer worship, to sing our praises and bring our prayers. But along with this worship we are still allowed to wonder what it all means. Like the disciples we bring our doubts to the place where Jesus promises to meet us.

How does Jesus receive this mixed response from his disciples? He gives them all the exact same message. Jesus does not separate those who worshipped and those who doubted. Jesus does not say, “OK, those of you who really get it, you go and be disciples to all nations, you others, those of you who doubted, get out of here.” No, instead he gives them all the same commission. The message from the women to go is what brought the disciples to this mountain and now the command by Jesus to go is what will take these disciples into the valley. Sometimes I wonder if that was really a good idea, that the bumbling, doubting, imperfect disciples get lumped into the confident, believing, sure disciples. However, Biblically we see the proof that it is not about whether they are equipped or not but rather through the Trinity they will become equipped.

Jesus finishes this commission by reminding them that despite his physical absence he is with them always, to the end of the age. Through the Trinity, through the creative power of God, through the redeeming possibilities of Christ, through the gifts of the Spirit we are able to be as equipped as the disciples. Through God the creator, as we heard in Genesis there is power, strength and certainty. Through Christ’s authority we are empowered to go out. But we go out in diversity- through the Holy Spirit we each have different gifts. Paul says to the Corinthians, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” None of us are perfect, ok, maybe Mike is, but that’s not what makes us who we are- we are followers and it is the one whom we follow who is perfect. We are doubters but it is the one who inspires belief that gives us faith.

Maybe sometimes we feel old like Abraham, maybe sometimes we feel like liars like Jacob, maybe sometimes we stutter through life like Moses, hopefully none of us have the urge to preach naked like Isaiah, but maybe sometimes we have had moments when we ran away from God like Jonah , maybe we are worriers like Martha, or maybe we are young like Timothy and maybe sometimes we feel dead like Lazarus. But that does not make us any less equipped to be disciples, to go, to go down the mountain and into the valley.

Amen

June 15, 2014
Preacher:

Passage:

Genesis 1:1-2, Genesis 1:4, Psalm 8, Matthew 28:16-20

Service Type:

 I recently read the following quote on a colleague's Facebook page, “Abraham was really old, Jacob was a liar, Moses had a stuttering problem, David was an adulterer, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran away from God, Job went bankrupt, John the baptist ate bugs, Martha worried about everything, Zacchaeus was really short, Paul was a murderer, Timothy was young and Lazarus was dead. God doesn't call the equipped but equips the called.” Perhaps this is what Trinity Sunday is all about because that statement is no truer for me, I'm not perfect, than anyone of my colleagues, but also no truer for the disciples who fell asleep during prayer, had petty arguments, often misunderstood, and even denied Jesus. However, for all their imperfections, our Trinitarian God gave and equipped the disciples with moments of true discipleship and the verses we hear from Matthew's gospel gives us a clear look at what it means to be disciples of Jesus.

We have to remember that preceding our passage the Gospel of Matthew is very dramatic. There is a lot that goes on in a very short period of time. Jesus dies, then there is an earthquake, an angel rolls away the stone, the women show up at the tomb to find it empty. Jesus suddenly appears to them and asks them to pass along a message to the disciples. The women go to the disciples and tell them to go to Galilee, where it all began, and where Jesus will meet them. Aside from these unearthly events, in the background there are rumours that it is the disciples who have stolen the body, that Jesus has in fact not risen from the dead but rather this is one big hoax. We even read that this is the story most people have been told to this day. That it is all just a lie.

In Matthew's gospel none of the disciples have a resurrection experience at the tomb. All of them have received this strange and unbelievable message from the women. As a result they are beginning to listen to these rumours and some of them are debating whether the resurrection is true. However, all of them are curious to see what will happen and so they travel to the mountain in Galilee. The disciples are as diverse as us. They all have their questions, their curiosities, their strengths, their weaknesses, their moments of true belief and their moments of total doubt.

We all have different stories about how we ended up here. Some of those stories are about unwavering faith, strong convictions, and trust in God. But I bet there are also lots of stories about doubt, struggle, curiousity, and expectations. No matter how we have gotten here it is in setting out on the journey that discipleship begins to take root.

When the disciples reach the mountain Jesus appears, some see and begin to worship. This is a true mountaintop experience. Imagine the elation, the joy, and the reverence. But what we often forget is that the text says “and some doubted”. This doubt however does not make the doubters have any less of a mountaintop experience. Doubt is a part of the process. This is “Trinity Sunday”. The Trinity is one of the most abstract mysteries of faith, how do we explain this three in one, how do we explain the distinct but the same characteristics. Through doubt we are able to formulate some answers and ask greater questions. On this mountain, among these disciples there is both worship and uncertainty, devotion and hesitancy. This mixture of faith and doubt are characteristics of discipleship as well.

Like the disciples we receive the message to go to where Jesus will meet us. We trust that Jesus will be here and for many that is enough to offer worship, to sing our praises and bring our prayers. But along with this worship we are still allowed to wonder what it all means. Like the disciples we bring our doubts to the place where Jesus promises to meet us.

How does Jesus receive this mixed response from his disciples? He gives them all the exact same message. Jesus does not separate those who worshipped and those who doubted. Jesus does not say, “OK, those of you who really get it, you go and be disciples to all nations, you others, those of you who doubted, get out of here.” No, instead he gives them all the same commission. The message from the women to go is what brought the disciples to this mountain and now the command by Jesus to go is what will take these disciples into the valley. Sometimes I wonder if that was really a good idea, that the bumbling, doubting, imperfect disciples get lumped into the confident, believing, sure disciples. However, Biblically we see the proof that it is not about whether they are equipped or not but rather through the Trinity they will become equipped.

Jesus finishes this commission by reminding them that despite his physical absence he is with them always, to the end of the age. Through the Trinity, through the creative power of God, through the redeeming possibilities of Christ, through the gifts of the Spirit we are able to be as equipped as the disciples. Through God the creator, as we heard in Genesis there is power, strength and certainty. Through Christ's authority we are empowered to go out. But we go out in diversity- through the Holy Spirit we each have different gifts. Paul says to the Corinthians, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” None of us are perfect, ok, maybe Mike is, but that's not what makes us who we are- we are followers and it is the one whom we follow who is perfect. We are doubters but it is the one who inspires belief that gives us faith.

Maybe sometimes we feel old like Abraham, maybe sometimes we feel like liars like Jacob, maybe sometimes we stutter through life like Moses, hopefully none of us have the urge to preach naked like Isaiah, but maybe sometimes we have had moments when we ran away from God like Jonah , maybe we are worriers like Martha, or maybe we are young like Timothy and maybe sometimes we feel dead like Lazarus. But that does not make us any less equipped to be disciples, to go, to go down the mountain and into the valley.

Amen

Bible Text: Genesis 1:1-2, Genesis 1:4, Psalm 8, Matthew 28:16-20 | Preacher: Rev. Jenn Geddes

 I recently read the following quote on a colleague’s Facebook page, “Abraham was really old, Jacob was a liar, Moses had a stuttering problem, David was an adulterer, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran away from God, Job went bankrupt, John the baptist ate bugs, Martha worried about everything, Zacchaeus was really short, Paul was a murderer, Timothy was young and Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called.” Perhaps this is what Trinity Sunday is all about because that statement is no truer for me, I’m not perfect, than anyone of my colleagues, but also no truer for the disciples who fell asleep during prayer, had petty arguments, often misunderstood, and even denied Jesus. However, for all their imperfections, our Trinitarian God gave and equipped the disciples with moments of true discipleship and the verses we hear from Matthew’s gospel gives us a clear look at what it means to be disciples of Jesus.

We have to remember that preceding our passage the Gospel of Matthew is very dramatic. There is a lot that goes on in a very short period of time. Jesus dies, then there is an earthquake, an angel rolls away the stone, the women show up at the tomb to find it empty. Jesus suddenly appears to them and asks them to pass along a message to the disciples. The women go to the disciples and tell them to go to Galilee, where it all began, and where Jesus will meet them. Aside from these unearthly events, in the background there are rumours that it is the disciples who have stolen the body, that Jesus has in fact not risen from the dead but rather this is one big hoax. We even read that this is the story most people have been told to this day. That it is all just a lie.

In Matthew’s gospel none of the disciples have a resurrection experience at the tomb. All of them have received this strange and unbelievable message from the women. As a result they are beginning to listen to these rumours and some of them are debating whether the resurrection is true. However, all of them are curious to see what will happen and so they travel to the mountain in Galilee. The disciples are as diverse as us. They all have their questions, their curiosities, their strengths, their weaknesses, their moments of true belief and their moments of total doubt.

We all have different stories about how we ended up here. Some of those stories are about unwavering faith, strong convictions, and trust in God. But I bet there are also lots of stories about doubt, struggle, curiousity, and expectations. No matter how we have gotten here it is in setting out on the journey that discipleship begins to take root.

When the disciples reach the mountain Jesus appears, some see and begin to worship. This is a true mountaintop experience. Imagine the elation, the joy, and the reverence. But what we often forget is that the text says “and some doubted”. This doubt however does not make the doubters have any less of a mountaintop experience. Doubt is a part of the process. This is “Trinity Sunday”. The Trinity is one of the most abstract mysteries of faith, how do we explain this three in one, how do we explain the distinct but the same characteristics. Through doubt we are able to formulate some answers and ask greater questions. On this mountain, among these disciples there is both worship and uncertainty, devotion and hesitancy. This mixture of faith and doubt are characteristics of discipleship as well.

Like the disciples we receive the message to go to where Jesus will meet us. We trust that Jesus will be here and for many that is enough to offer worship, to sing our praises and bring our prayers. But along with this worship we are still allowed to wonder what it all means. Like the disciples we bring our doubts to the place where Jesus promises to meet us.

How does Jesus receive this mixed response from his disciples? He gives them all the exact same message. Jesus does not separate those who worshipped and those who doubted. Jesus does not say, “OK, those of you who really get it, you go and be disciples to all nations, you others, those of you who doubted, get out of here.” No, instead he gives them all the same commission. The message from the women to go is what brought the disciples to this mountain and now the command by Jesus to go is what will take these disciples into the valley. Sometimes I wonder if that was really a good idea, that the bumbling, doubting, imperfect disciples get lumped into the confident, believing, sure disciples. However, Biblically we see the proof that it is not about whether they are equipped or not but rather through the Trinity they will become equipped.

Jesus finishes this commission by reminding them that despite his physical absence he is with them always, to the end of the age. Through the Trinity, through the creative power of God, through the redeeming possibilities of Christ, through the gifts of the Spirit we are able to be as equipped as the disciples. Through God the creator, as we heard in Genesis there is power, strength and certainty. Through Christ’s authority we are empowered to go out. But we go out in diversity- through the Holy Spirit we each have different gifts. Paul says to the Corinthians, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” None of us are perfect, ok, maybe Mike is, but that’s not what makes us who we are- we are followers and it is the one whom we follow who is perfect. We are doubters but it is the one who inspires belief that gives us faith.

Maybe sometimes we feel old like Abraham, maybe sometimes we feel like liars like Jacob, maybe sometimes we stutter through life like Moses, hopefully none of us have the urge to preach naked like Isaiah, but maybe sometimes we have had moments when we ran away from God like Jonah , maybe we are worriers like Martha, or maybe we are young like Timothy and maybe sometimes we feel dead like Lazarus. But that does not make us any less equipped to be disciples, to go, to go down the mountain and into the valley.

Amen