This is a very familiar Scripture passage. Anyone who has been in church for any length of time has listened to preachers share the great themes of the Great Commission passage. The themes have included sermons on authority, making disciples and mission.

Much attention has been paid to Matthew 28:19, in which Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” If we are not careful, we will miss the Trinitarian formula that follows, “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Today is Trinity Sunday, the celebration and commemoration of the doctrine of the church, not merely event in the life of Christ. Philip Thompson reminds us: “Beginning this Sunday, we turn from our long engagement with the history of God’s saving work in Christ to ponder our life in the world in light of God’s work: our life in the Triune God. Trinity—the doctrine and the Sunday—gathers all of this up. It gives signal declaration to the divine mystery and proclaims that we have a place in it.”1 This is not an abstract speculation about understanding God, but places us in the very life flow of the gracious mystery of God.

Consider this a day of celebration of our Triune God!

The Trinity is available to us. As the Nicene Creed declares, “there is one living and true God…And in the unity of this Godhead there are three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” This simply means all the Godhead comes to our human aid when we ask.

We may ask in prayer in the name of the Father, or in the name of Jesus, or in the name of the Holy Spirit; but we can rest assured God in three Persons comes to our side with all the power ever needed! Discouraged? There is power to be encouraged. Tempted? There is power to overcome. Convicted? The power to respond. Sinful? The power to break free.

The Trinity is at work in our lives. The work of our redemption and the living out of our lives is of vital importance to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is God’s desire that we have the very best existence possible. God the Father sent His Son into the world so salvation could be accomplished and the Holy Spirit applies and breathes the redemptive work into our lives on a daily basis.

I like a prayer I read from an unknown source that talks about God in my life. It reads: “Almighty and eternal God, so draw my heart to you, so guide my mind, so fill my imagination, so control my will, that I may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use me, I pray, as You will, and always to Your glory, and the welfare of Your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen” (Quoted in Jan Karon’s Patches of Godlight).

The Trinity deserves our worship. Theologian H. Orton Wiley wrote, “the doctrine of the Trinity grew out of the devotional life of the church and not out of philosophy” thus to worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is critical for us as humans, specifically as Christians. The mystery of the Godhead only brings us to a holy reverence of who we worship.

Wiley concluded his section of the Trinity in his theological work: “Is it any wonder, then that the Church has not only given us a statement of the Trinity in the creed, but set its teaching to music in the matchless Gloria? Here is summarized all its teachings concerning the Trinity as they are to be used in the service of worship. ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.'”2

As a believer, I need to sense God’s presence with me each day. I can allow God to guide me into all truth, to watch for opportunities to identify His action in my life, and to share with others His glorious presence!

1 Charles Bugg, Editor, The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2001 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000), 221.
2 H. Orton Wiley, Christian Theology (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1967) , 439.

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