Let us pray: O Holy Blessed Trinity, You are beyond human words to describe. Our puny minds cannot conceive of the greatness of Your goodness. And yet, You have chosen to make Yourself known to us out of pure love. You have chosen to fill our hearts and souls with the uplifting goodness of Your grace. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM THE BLESSED, HOLY TRINITY!
TEXT: Romans 5: 1-5
Dear Beloved Whose Lives Have Been Enlarged By God’s Grace:
I remember slogging along behind the lawn mower when suddenly I saw movement in the grass ahead. It was a small toad who was trying to escape after feeling the mower’s vibration. I’ve seen this same thing a lot and I always slow down for these mosquito-eating machines. I like toads. But, this little guy was a bit slow, so I stopped the mower and helped him to safety. Do you think the toad understood what I was doing? Do you think he, or she, had a comprehension of the hulking beast that reached down to scoop him up? Obviously not. For the chasm between toads and human beings is too great.
We humans are prideful creatures. And the depth of our proud nature is especially shown in all its sorted glory when it comes to our attempts at comprehending God. If the chasm between toads and humans is light years, the chasm between God and humans is zillions of light years. And yet, we conceptualize God in human terms and define Him in our minds and then become angry with those conceptualizations when things happen differently than we expected them to. We become angry when He tells us things in the Bible that don’t measure up to our politically correct standards. If we wouldn’t act that way, how could God do so? How can He but so judgmental against sin and yet send His Son to die for all sinners? Yes, God is beyond our comprehension. So, don’t put God in the little box of your mind and then think you have Him all figured out. Even toads don’t do that!
Today is Trinity Sunday. It is the one Sunday of the church year that we especially key in on the nature and depth of our God. Surely, God is beyond our understanding, and yet He has reached down into our reality, scooped us up, and chosen to make certain parts of His nature known to us. He has bridged that zillion light year chasm because we cannot! And so today as we examine this little section from Romans, you and I need to:
REJOICE! FOR GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR MINDS!
If some evil person invaded your home, killed your spouse and children, tortured you, and then burned the house to the ground before your eyes, how would you react to them? What would you do to them when you got free and had the chance for retribution? Would you forgive them? Would you make peace with them? Would you trust them with the gift of your heart? No, no, and no! And yet, that’s what our huge-hearted God did for each of us. Yes, He’s bigger than our minds, isn’t He? In love, not retribution, He sent His Son into our world to suffer and die for all our sins of hateful spite. That was His eternal plan to save lost humans. We call that: justification, or making us right with Him. And now St. Paul talks about this mind-boggling response to evil human behavior. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”
In Isaiah 55 God says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” That just about sums up this glorious truth of justification, or how we are saved. And our only response to this work of the entire Trinity is to Rejoice! For God is Bigger Than Our Minds!
In our gospel lesson, Christ describes the relationship of the Trinity with each other. He says: “All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take what is mine and make it known to you.” Yes, every good and perfect gift belongs to God the Father Who gives them all to God the Son and Who, in turn, transfers them to the Holy Spirit Who gives them to us. And for all that, we rejoice! What else can we do? It won’t do to question: why? It won’t do to ponder: What if? Or: Why not? Or, I would do it differently. No, just as God just is, so His way of handling our lives just is. And although the next section makes no sense to pride-filled human minds, it makes perfect sense to God and to those who embrace Him through faith.
“But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Rejoicing in suffering is an oxymoron to human beings. It makes no sense. And yet, it makes sense to God and those to whom He has given His grace. Because suffering causes us to take stock of what is really important in life. That in turn leads us to look beyond ourselves for strength, meaning, and comfort. That, in turn, creates hope for a better future. And since such hope is built on and based in Christ’s undying love for us, it will never, ever, disappoint. It will enlarge our vistas and get us beyond thinking about life in the narrow terms of: me, me, and more me. Yes, we rejoice because God is bigger than our minds! And it’s a good thing, too, isn’t it?
Moreover, to make sure we foolish mortals don’t throw such amazing insight into life away, God has sent the Holy Spirit, the 3rd Person of the Trinity, to work faith in our hearts, open our minds to His reality, and to enmesh us into that eternal reality. Just as the little toad could not save himself or appreciate my efforts to help, we cannot do it alone or appreciate God’s goodness by ourselves, either. But since everything God does is perfect and since He created us and knows every aspect to our existence, He also knows how to give us joy!
Well, that’s what the Trinity is all about—giving us hope and joy! We know that because God’s Word defines Him for us.—“God is love.” Now that you know all that, Rejoice! That God Is Bigger Than You! Amen
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH…..
Pastor Thomas H. Fox