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Trinity Sunday : 4th June 2023

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

You O Lord reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

Father, you sent your Son to bring us truth and your Holy Spirit to make us holy; open our hearts to exalt you, open our lives to reveal you, our one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Gen 1:1-2:4a
00:00 / 09:03

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

2 Cor 13:11-13
00:00 / 00:57

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint Matthew
(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Matthew 28:16-20
00:00 / 00:55

Listen to David speak to this gospel
(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Live With It Folks !
00:00 / 11:00

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon Trinity Sunday, 4th June 2023

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>

Trinity Sunday – the day when we celebrate the unity of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three-ness in the one-ness. Easy!

Yes, understanding The Holy Trinity is a piece of cake …

There are two processions: the Son from the Father, the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son.
There are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
There are four relationships: active generation (the Father to the Son), passive generation (the Son to the Father), the active breath of God (the Father and Son to the Spirit), and passive breath of God (the Spirit to the Father and the Son).

Got it? Great! That's the Trinity. Can I finish now? <PAUSE>

Now, you've probably gathered that's the hyper-theological language the Church has used to describe this wonderful mystery, and you're right, with the emphasis on the word “mystery”.

However, please bear with me as we delve a little deeper into the great mystery, the great truth, of The Holy Trinity.

So, one God. Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Inherited from ancient Israel our faith in the one God. “Shema (Shmy) Yisrael Adonai, Eloheinn Adonai Echad. Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deut 6:4)

Any movement towards multiple gods is ruled out! All of the first followers of Jesus were monotheistic Jews. They remained clear in their monotheism. There's one God and we will re-affirm that when we say the opening line of the Creed in a few moments … “I believe in one God.” So that's crystal clear.

Now, St John tells us that, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …”. The incarnation. God became flesh. God came and pitched His tent amongst us. God came to live, die and be resurrected so that each one of us can believe in Him and have eternal life.

Going further, and as I introduced last week, at Pentecost, St Matthew tells us that, during the baptism of Jesus, God The Father speaks, “This is my Son, whom I love …” Ah yes - a lover (God The Father) and a beloved (God The Son).

“The Two” become “The Three” in “The One-ness” when we grasp that they are united by their shared love and THAT is the power of The Holy Spirit. See - I told you it was easy !! <PAUSE>

Trinity Sunday refers to a reality that has no date, no time-frame, no direct link to a specific part of Christ’s life, it is, as I said at the start of this message, surrounded in mystery. It IS a mystery! BUT …

WHAT WE DO KNOW is that Trinity Sunday is our annual, essential reminder, that we cannot manage God – we cannot even imagine God. For if we could understand God – contain\explain Him – then God would, well, cease to be GOD.

When we are dealing with theology and faith we are always dealing with something more than we, as human, can cope with. We are being asked to deal with things too wonderful for us to comprehend – and we speak of things which we do not fully understand. <PAUSE>

Yet, the Holy Trinity is a distinct three-ness in the One God and is the central doctrine of our Christian faith. Our faith is this, "that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity.”

Ultimately, the KEY WORD is “FAITH”! We live by this faith that teaches us that God is indeed three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. even when we struggle to understand it!

So while my humble, human brain may struggle to come to clarity regarding The Holy Trinity I have absolutely no doubt that we are promised that, by the transformation of grace from God The Father, we may live in Christ, The Son, as He lives in us, through the uniting power and love of The Holy Spirit

The one-ness of The Holy Trinity is mightily confronting, some would say, scary stuff. <PAUSE>

So, should we demand an explanation from our Lord? Question his methods? Or should we merely enjoy the benefits of His grace? <LONG PAUSE>

Is The Holy Trinity saying to us … my name is “I AM” and I am mysterious - live with it folks !

In the end, I don’t think the good Lord wants us to question TOO much … He just wants us to … proclaim His Kingdom and teach the things concerning The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit - with all boldness, UNHINDERED and to God, The Three-in-One, will be the glory.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.An Affirmation of Our Faith

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

God in three persons, blessed Trinity, on this special day, we come before you to offer our thankful praise. You are God, the creator, giving us richly all things to enjoy. You are Christ the Saviour of the world, made flesh to set us free. You are the Spirit of truth and love, willing to dwell in us. One God, eternal Trinity, be near to us, your people.

(Longer Silence) : personal reflection.

In response to the call today “Lord, in Your Mercy” Our plea is, “Hear our prayer.”

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer

God in three persons, blessed Trinity, we pray for Your church throughout the world, for those that are thriving and those which have lost a sense of hope and direction for the future.  We give thanks for Your parish here in The Wakatipu, its people from near and far, and gladly acknowledge all the gifts You have given us. May we continue to welcome the stranger and share our faith with others.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer


God in three persons, blessed Trinity, we remember all who bear the responsibility of leadership, for heads of state, ambassadors and political advisers, mayors, councils, and all people of influence; let Your will for our world be accomplished through the decisions they make and give them a vision of a just and better way of life for everyone.


(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer


God in three persons, blessed Trinity, we pray for peace in the world, in our communities and our families: create in us a love for peace, not peace that is absent from struggle, nor peace that is blind to injustice but the peace that makes whole what now is broken.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer

God in three persons, blessed Trinity, we remember this morning those who are sick, sad or lonely and those who are brave and patient when things are going wrong. We pray that they may be aware of Your comforting presence and know that in Your hands they are safe and loved.

We now raise before you those who have asked for our prayers … Rose, Mark, Fiona (here in the Wakatipu), Deb, David, Barbara and Lynley (in Christchurch), Andrew, Fiona, Glenys in Dunedin, Sam (in Singapore) and others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer

God in three persons, blessed Trinity, we remember before God, those who have died and we pray for all whose life is saddened by the death of a loved one, be with them in their loneliness and let them know that Jesus Christ is the light of the world a light which no darkness can quench.

May all the faithful departed rest in peace as they most surely have risen in glory.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy:  Hear our prayer

Father God, lead us into the coming week, Son of God, help us to believe that you are close to us, Spirit of God, keep us from making mistakes, Triune God, help us never to disappoint you, and when we face hard decisions or difficult work, when we enjoy ourselves and have fun with others may we know that you share ALL these times with us.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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