Trinity Sunday: God in Three Persons – June 11, 2023

While not the most celebrated of church holidays, Trinity Sunday recognizes a core idea that permeates the church and our beliefs.

The Trinity is a theological concept grounded in scripture that states God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit are unique but also connected, they are all God but three different persons of God. They are distinct and yet not distinct. They are individual and interact with humanity and creation in different ways and yet are collective and indivisible from one another. They are God, God in three persons.

God the Father

Genesis 1

“In the beginning when God created[a] the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God[b] swept over the face of the waters.”


Exodus 3

“But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”[a] He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[b] the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’:

This is my name forever,

and this my title for all generations.”


God the Son

John 1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”


Matthew 1

““Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.””


John 14

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know[d] my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;”


God the Holy Spirit

Genesis 1

“In the beginning when God created[a] the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God[b] swept over the face of the waters.”


John 16

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”


The Trinity

Matthew 28

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””


Why does the Trinity matter? Outside of universities and academia, outside of thick volumes of systematic theology. In the midst of summer schedules, cancer, mass shootings, softball, vacations, moving, babies, why is God in three persons so important?


The Trinity matters because it expresses the full depth and breadth of God’s love for us. The Trinity shows us that God stops at nothing to love us and be in relationship with us.

All throughout the Old Testament are stories about God being like, live this way, I love you, I want you to love me and to love others, this is how you love others, oh and by the way, when you love others you’re also loving me. And over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, the people are people. God sends prophets and leaders and guides, and still the people are people, they mess up, they miss the mark.

So God says, all right, I will come down amongst you. I’m not going to keep sending people in my name, I am going to come to you myself. I am going to love you, I am going to teach you, I am going to suffer with you, I am going to die for you, and I am going to live again for you. And love comes down as the person of Jesus, fully human and fully God, offering us the path towards abundant life here on earth and for all eternity. And what did the people do? The people were, you guessed it, people. The disciples, the people around, they get it right, they it wrong, they do good and love, they live ruled by fear and grudges, hate and bitterness festers.


But, God knows us, so even while Jesus was alive, Jesus taught that he would not be around forever, but God would be around forever as the Holy Spirit. Jesus called the Holy Spirit guide, teacher, comforter, truth, counselor, helper. A presence, not confined to one point in time like the human Jesus, but spirit, inner, outer. The same spirit that moved across the face of the waters and brought forth life in Genesis. The same breath that filled an empty clay vessel to create humanity, also in Genesis. But a spirit that would work in new ways, bringing life to the church and bringing opportunities for new life for us each and every day.


God doesn’t just love you and want the best for you in one way. God doesn’t just offer you love and forgiveness and acceptance in two ways. No, God stops at nothing to offer us the life God wants us to have.


God is creator and parent, father and mother.

God is Emmanuel, Christ, Jesus who took on death and gives us abundance.

God is the Spirit that gives us new birth.

God is guide and teacher, comforter and hope.


When humanity seems to find new ways of just missing the mark, God’s says, I’m going to love you through it. The Trinity matters because it teaches us that God stops at nothing to be in relationship with us. Y’all, I could write 100 pages on the inner workings of the Trinity but none of it would be more beautiful or true than this: The good news of the Trinity is that God uses the full force of God’s very self to love you and offer you life.

Today is a church holy day centered on a complicated theological concept but the message is simple. God loves us more than we can comprehend and is reaching out to you in more ways that you can possibly imagine.

Know that truth. Believe that truth. And see how it can transform your life. Amen.

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