Ps. 8; Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Acts 2:14a, 22-36; John 8:48-59.
Wisdom, Wisdom speaks: “Yahweh possessed me at the Beginning of his way, before his works of old … I was beside him as a master craftsman. I was [his] joy day after day, rejoicing in his presence at all times, rejoicing in his inhabited world, and my joy was with the human race” (vv. 22, 30, 31).
Why are we here on this or on any festive day; a question to which I expect you have an answer that bespeaks wisdom. Baptized into Christ we are possessed of Truth and his Wisdom bound to the apostolic teaching. So here we are to receive more of God’s wisdom, more Jesus in the manner by which he is delivered, in word and Sacrament.
Trinity Sunday is difficult for some preachers, engendering a need to explain dogma and doctrine; but I expect what you need to hear is what belief in the Trinity means for your life.
The Festival of The Holy Trinity heads-up the 2nd half of the Church Year informing worship going forward in the reality of “God with us” and proclaiming the church’s witness, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one” (Dt. 6:4).
The church needs to know what her trinitarian faith bestows; undivided unity in God’s shared Name, that there is no other god to whom we might turn.
If I only preached a law-gospel dialectic, where the law’s chief virtue is “Lex semper accusat”, always and only accusing; Christians might be driven into church to escape from, “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mk. 9:48).
Certainly, a gospel of escape from wrath is good news; but law and gospel are more, wisdom of God’s word; Christ acting to restore men and women to God’s image and His likeness, the righteousness and joy of Christ for men restored, the holiness of the Spirit bestowed by the Father’s love.
Thus, the law has a higher purpose than merely pointing a finger at sin; certainly, it does that; yet importantly it reveals God’s perfect character to which we are called out of Adam’s unbelief (Mt. 5:48).
We are here, not only to give thanks for escape from perdition in the gracious ark of the church; but for instruction in the Way of escape over death’s flood; God’s wisdom through Christ from “the Beginning”, (Jn.1:1, 2), the place and source of divinity’s eternal location.
Jesus is word and source of our experiential knowledge that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8)? There is no other god, who is Love’s essence and would have you know him as his beloved. Why; because loving by its nature entails sacrifice.
How much sacrifice; complete, total, and utter! Love is maximal, any less love is love withheld. Other gods with whom we traffic, ourselves included, withholds this of himself, (Woltz to Hagen, “The Godfather”) “[A] man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous!”
And yet for love of men God reveals himself ridiculous in the world. One of the earliest comments about the Christian God appeared as wall graffiti, known as Alexamenos Graffito, a boy before a crucified figure having the body of a man and head of an ass, captioned, “Alexamenos worships his god”.
What is asinine to the world, nevertheless puts God’s extreme love on display as power and wisdom for the world’s new creation (1 Cor.1:18, 19, 30).
The Father rejoices in his Son hearing and doing his will; the Son rejoices because the Father’s will is accomplished through him. In the first creation the Son’s joy was of being the Father’s master-craftsman; now in the new creation, Jesus’ joy is in knowing and doing the Father’s sacrificial will for our redemption.
The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of Jesus’ crucifixion joy, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
God never stops his creative work. We confess, “I believe in God the Father Almighty creator of heaven and earth”; it is who he is. The Father’s ongoing joy is in the creative power of his Word and Spirit; that all men might be in union as “at the Beginning of his Way”. Jesus is God’s incarnate speechified wisdom, and so, God’s “Way, Truth, and Life” (Jn. 14:6) restoring men to their intended “image and likeness” (Gen. 1:26).
In the Resurrection the church has been delivered the HS for the truth of Christ, crucified Lord and embodiment of God’s love for us. By the HS, Christ continues with us bodily, God’s master-craftsman delivering faith, wisdom, Life in the Way as in “the Beginning”.
Jesus’ flesh and blood, with the Spirit’s water is the Way of God’s sacrificial love, making us begotten sons and daughters for the Father in the household of the Holy Trinity.
By the HS’s procession from the Father through his resurrected Son, God establishes a new locatedness for his Temple dwelling, the crucified flesh of Jesus present with his bride, now our Father (Jn. 20:17c).
The location of God’s presence is now the place where men in faith mirror the unity of the Holy Trinity, taking-on Jesus’ likeness, mind and heart as was spoken by Solomon, “I [Wisdom] was [Yahweh’s] joy day after day, rejoicing in his presence at all times, rejoicing in his inhabited world, and my joy was with the human race”.
God’s joy in the new creation continues day by day through our baptism, the work of his Wisdom, and the Spirit of Truth for abiding before God in the courts of his new Temple (Jn. 14:2; Ps. 23:6b). Amen.