Reflections: June 7, 2020
By Alexander Lange
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Our Gospel lesson for Trinity Sunday explicitly mentions all three divine Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Father loves the world. He doesn't want to condemn sinners to eternal death, but wants to rescue every sinner and give to him everlasting life. So God sent His only Son.
If Jesus was sent, then He must have existed prior to His birth. He is God's unique Son. Thus we confess that He was begotten of His Father. This wasn't an act of creation. The Father is always the Father, because His Son always exists.
The Son shares the Father's very substance. He is One with the Father (John 10:30). He shares God's love for the world. He willingly goes to the Cross to suffer death and condemnation in our place. Through His obedience and death, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and salvation for mankind.
How are the gifts won on the Cross delivered to you? How can you benefit from the Son's work? How can you get out of the kingdom of darkness and enter God's Kingdom? Just as the Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, the Spirit is sent in time by the Father and the Spirit. Through earthly means the Spirit delivers forgiveness, life, and salvation. Through these means of grace the Spirit brings people into God's Kingdom.
Our text mentions one of those means: Holy Baptism. The Spirit came to you in the waters of Baptism. The Spirit applied the gifts won on the Cross to you personally. Now you are forgiven. Now you belong to the Kingdom of God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity Sunday)
— Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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