Worship Helps for Trinity Sunday

Artwork: Holy Trinity
Artist: Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen
Date: 1500-1559

Worship Theme: The mystery of the Holy Trinity is beyond our comprehension. Yet it is proclaimed in Scripture and believed by Spirit-wrought hearts of faith. We believe in the one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The height, depth, and breadth of our God gives us peace as we travel towards eternity.

Old Testament: Numbers 6:22-27 The LORD said to Moses, 23 "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 "'"The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."' 27 "So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."

1. How is the Holy Trinity evident in the blessing Aaron was to put on God’s people? (See 6:24–26.)

2. How does the LORD describe his blessing? (See 6:27.)

3. What does this mean? (See 6:27.)

Epistle: 1 John 5:5-12 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 6 This is the one who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

4. Who is the only one who overcomes the world?

5. Who is the only one who has eternal life?

6. How can anyone really believe in something as difficult to understand as the Trinity? (See 5:9.)

Gospel: John 16:12-15 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

7. What things did Jesus promise the Spirit would do when he would come?

8. The Spirit’s goal isn’t to bring attention to himself. What is his goal?


Answers:
1. The Trinity is evident to eyes of faith in this way: The blessing is three-fold, in three lines, yet each line starts with “the LORD.” This hints that there are three persons, yet only one LORD.

2. The LORD describes his blessing as putting his name on his people.

3. To put one’s name on someone or something generally means to show that it belongs to you. So when the Lord blesses us he, the Holy One, promises that he owns us sinners. We belong to him in the most personal, merciful way.

4. The only one that overcomes the world is the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

5. The only one who has eternal life (not just will have it… has it) is the person who has the Son. That person trusts in Jesus and his merits. He or she does not trust in himself or herself to be good enough for God.

6. We believe in something no one can understand, the Trinity, because God has testified about it himself. God says it; that settles it.

7. Jesus promised that when the Spirit would come a) he would guide the disciples into all truth, B) he would tell the things to come, and C) he would bring glory to Jesus by taking what belonged to Jesus and making it known to the disciples.

8. The goal of the Holy Spirit is to bring glory to Jesus by bringing us to faith in him and strengthening that faith.


Putting your faith into action
Trinity Sunday is intended to remind us of the many blessings the Lord has showered upon us in our everyday lives. God the Father is the one who made us and gives us all our time and talents. He is the one who ultimately gets the credit for all the worldly things we enjoy. God the Son is the one who paid the price for all of our sins. Thanks to Jesus we know we have a gracious God who intends to use us to share his grace with the world. God the Holy Spirit is the one who places faith in our hearts to believe in the Holy Trinity. He is the one who gave us peace the very moment he placed faith into us.


A reading from the Book of Concord for Holy Trinity
Another doctrine flows from the way in which the divine and the human nature in the person of Christ are united with each other. The two natures not only have the names in common, but they also have communion with each other (in deed and truth) without commingling or equalizing their essences. From this point flows teaching about the true communion of the properties of the natures.
This is certainly true: properties do not leave their subjects.  In other words, each nature keeps its essential properties.  These are not separated from the nature and poured into the other nature, as water from one vessel into another.  So there could not be any communion of properties if the personal union or communion of the natures in the person of Christ were not true.  Next to the article of the Holy Trinity this is the greatest mystery in heaven and on earth.  Paul says, “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16).  The apostle Peter testifies in clear words that we also, in whom Christ dwells only by grace, on account of that great mystery, are “partakers of the divine nature” in Christ.  Therefore, what kind of communion of the divine nature must that be of which the apostle says, “in [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” so that God and man are one person? – Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article VIII, The Person of Christ (paragraphs 31-34)


Hymns for this Sunday: 193; 177; 194; 241; 334



1  Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And make our hearts your place of rest;
Come with your grace and heav’nly aid, And fill the hearts which you have made.

2  To you, the Counselor, we cry, To you, the gift of God most high;
The fount of life, the fire of love, The soul’s anointing from above.

3  Your light to ev’ry thought impart, And shed your love in ev’ry heart;
The weakness of our mortal state With deathless might invigorate.

4  Drive far away our wily foe, And your abiding peace bestow;
If you are our protecting guide, No evil can with us abide.

5  Teach us to know the Father, Son, And you, from both, as Three in One
That we your name may ever bless And in our lives the truth confess.

6  Praise we the Father and the Son And Holy Spirit, with them One,
And may the Son on us bestow The gifts that from the Spirit flow!


Text: attr. Rhabanus Maurus, 776–856, abr.; tr. Edward Caswall, 1814–78, alt.

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