Trinity Sunday, Year A, June 4, 2023
Gen 1:1-2:4a, ⅡCor 13:11-13, Mat 28:16-20
Rev. Misa Furumoto
Today, the first Sunday after Pentecost is called Trinity Sunday. It is a feast that celebrates “the one and equal glory” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, “in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Being”. To put it in simpler terms, there is one God who exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. But this doesn’t mean there are three gods; instead, these three persons are all one God. This is one of the central and beliefs in Christianity, and yet it is quite difficult to understand. The concept is often explained by comparing it to water. Water can exist as ice, water, and seam. These are three different forms, but they’re all still water. Similarly, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different persons, but they’re all still God. It doesn’t fully explain the complexity of the Trinity, but it can be a helpful way to start understanding what Christian God is like.
Anyway, why does God exist in that way? He surely has a big purpose. As I was preparing for today’s sermon, repeatedly reading today’s passages from Genesis, the Second Letter to the Corinthians, and the Gospel according to Matthew, my heart became filled because I saw in them a grand blueprint of God that transcends time and space. The Bible is infused with God’s own endless dreams and plans of wanting to save as many people as possible through His strong feelings towards us.
God’s plan started with the words “Let there be light.” After that, His world was created perfectly. As if a large canvas suddenly emerged, illuminated by a spotlight in complete darkness, painted with tens of thousands of colors. There was light, a light blue sky with white clouds floating in it, and a vast, deep blue sea was created. On the land, colorful flowers and fruit trees sprouted. At night, the sky filled with stars and a gently shining moon appeared, quietly watching over the resting world. Then the sun rose, the world began to move vibrantly, sparkling again. Then, life appeared. Can you imagine how many types of animals were created in the sea? Whales, dolphins, turtles, fish of various sizes, crabs, octopuses, shrimp, starfish, and seaweed. In the sky, numerous birds flew around freely like angels, and on the ground, an incredible variety of animals were created.
Then, lastly, it is said that God created humans in His own image. When everything was completed, God looked over everything He had created and indeed, it was very good. It was a perfect world where God’s hand extended to every corner, everything was righteous in God’s eyes, it was the Kingdom of God. It was a world where all living things could fully receive the love of God, the Creator. A world of love and peace, where each could share the love received from God with others.
However, we humans, whom God created in His own image, left that perfect world. We strayed from God. To turn away from God, that is the meaning of “sin” in the Bible. After that, we became dominated by anxiety, worry, loneliness, and self-centered thoughts, unable to believe that we are being sustained by God’s love. Our souls look for God, but our minds constantly assert God’s absence, leading us to live unstable lives. By living without knowing God’s love, humans destroy the environment, hate and kill each other, and the world that God initially created is no longer God’s world, but human’s world.
Nevertheless, God never abandoned us sinful people. He sent His Son Jesus so that we could reconnect with Him. Through Jesus, our eyes were opened again, and we knew that God loved us. And we were able to know that God wants us to love each other more than anything.
Today’s Epistle tells us that Paul, who met the resurrected Jesus, advises us who believe in Jesus as our savior to “Put things in order, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” The world where the God of love and peace is with us, that is the Kingdom of God. Paul says it casually, but it’s not easy. You can see that just by looking at the world today. But, it’s not impossible. If we know Jesus, it’s possible. Because the Holy Spirit, sent from the Father and the Son, will help each one of us to put things in order, to agree with one another, and to live in peace.
We Christians who have already been baptized and continue to receive the Holy Spirit from God are ought to pray for the Holy Spirit to come down on more and more people, and to spread the word of Jesus for this purpose. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” This was the command left to the disciples by Jesus at the end. When all people become disciples of Jesus, know the love of God, and can share it with their neighbors, the kingdom of God, filled with love as it was at the beginning of the world, will be completed. This is God’s plan, and God’s dream, which will surely come true one day.
What does it mean to become a disciple of Jesus and to obey everything that he has commanded us? It means living in the love of God. It means doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, and loving your neighbor as yourself. Now, let us live as disciples of Christ, believing in the realization of God’s plan, and with hearts filled with anticipation. There are many people who are seeking God without knowing Jesus. Let’s share the love of God that we have received with those who are suffering, with those who feel empty in their lives. Let us tell them of the joy we have in being saved. This is the duty of a disciple of Christ. There is nothing to fear as Jesus has declared, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”