- ISBN 9780806636139
- Format Paperback
- Pages 208
- Dimensions 7 x 10
- Publication Date Jun 27, 1997
The Holy Trinity
First Sunday after Pentecost
The festival of the Holy Trinity caps off the Christmas and Easter cycles of the church year. During the first half of the year we have,at different times, celebrated the creating and acting Father,or the loving and redeeming Son, or the unifying and renewing Spirit. But, whichever of God's faces we are viewing at any given time, we are not viewing it oblivious of the others. Whenever we look upon one face of God, the others are there as well. Advent, Christmas, Epiphany,Lent,Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost are, in essence, all festivals of the Holy Trinity. Some theologians have claimed that there should be no specific festival called the Holy Trinity since every gathering in word and sacrament is a celebration and encounter with the triune God. Regardless, the church has continued to choose this one day to celebrate this truth. We often celebrate it by singing Reginald Heber's classic hymn:
Holy,holy,holy, merciful and mightly!
God in three Persons,blessed Trinity!
The word "trinity" appears nowhere in the Bible. But Christians see its truth inherent throughout the scriptures. One such passage serves as the gospel reading this Sunday. It opens with the story of Nicodemus who comes to Jesus to ask some deep quesitons in the dark of night. Jesus tells him of being born from above and of being born of water and the Spirit. And he shows how the Spirit is like the wind, blowing wherever it chooses. The passage closes with the beloved "God so loved the world..."
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are once again expressed as an energized and energizing unity. But what are we to do with our trinitarian experiences of God? Trying to prove the Trinity is as futile as trying to deny it. Trying to feel love for a doctrine is as impossible as trying to explain it.
As musicians in the church, perhaps we have the best response right on the tips of our tongues. Praise and proclamation are what suits the mystery best. Through our hands and voices we are united with Christians of all times and places who have been called into relationship with the Holy Trinity. Whether singing songs of the ages or those hot- off-the-press, we are links in that chain of praise and proclamation. We owe our gratitude to those before us, our responsibility to those who will follow, and our enthusiasm to our selves and to each other in the here and now. For the mystery of God in Three Persons is at the very center of our songs of praise and lives of faith.
p. 106 in Tune My Heart to Sing