S-1437 TS/3A 6/15/2014 Hymns: (O) #244; (S) #39; (C) #744 LSB
Texts: Genesis 1:1-2:4; Acts 2:14, 22-36; Matthew 28:16-20
Theme: “A Mighty Creator” (Genesis 1:1-2)
Question: “Have you created something?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Alleluia! The text for Trinity Sunday is the O.T. Lesson: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2).
Beloved in the Lord, perhaps you have seen and touched something someone has created like a beautiful quilt, a china cabinet, a dress, or a stained glass window. When we see them and touch them we say, “Wow! What a creation! What workmanship! What beauty!”
Indeed many people are gifted and have crafted amazing creations with their own hands. We admire them and at times even envy their talents and wish we have their creation abilities.
On this festival of the Trinity, we see the Mighty Creator, our God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit at work in creating not only the world and all that is seen and unseen, but creating faith in the heart of man so that he may know God has made him in His image.
We see His mighty creation all around us. We see the touch of His fingers and the care of His hands in the marvelous work of creation. What would our world be like without the imagination of God? What if everything was black and white? You would not see the stripes on the Zebra, the spots on the leopard, and the majesty of a swan. You would not see the beauty of the rose, lily, carnation and Iris. Think of the butterflies, the bees and the birds.
All of this has been given to us because God is the Mighty Creator. But He has also created faith in our hearts in the same miraculous and mighty way. Through the Word that is connected to the water our Mighty Creator rained down forgiveness of sin upon you and spoke faith into your once lifeless, sin-scarred heart! We see this faith born also through the mighty and powerful Word proclaimed. In the Epistle lesson as Peter preached his sermon; faith was created in the hearts of the listeners. We see it as God commissioned His Church to go out into all the world and in His mighty name preach, teach and baptize the nations; so that the nations will know their Creator. These are part of the mighty creation God did and does even today.
Moses, the author of the text tells us of the Mighty Creator who created the heavens and the earth. In Deuteronomy 34:9-10, we are told that Moses got the creation account as he visited with Jesus face to face. Through that encounter we have the movement, the means and the message of God creating all things for the benefit of His children—you and me. And through these acts we get to realize how deeply God is in involved in our lives that He pours upon us His undeserved GRACE in everything that He does.
We behold this Grace from the angle of Creation in how deeply we are dependent on Him for everything to sustain our lives. We see this Grace from the angle of Redemption through the act of the cross; that is 100% a pure GIFT as Paul tells us in Ephesians: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (2:8-9). Through this gift our sins are forgiven and we receive life and salvation. We observe this Grace from the angle of Preservation through His continual providence. Paul in Colossians tells us, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (1:17). Everything that we have and hold unto is a gift of His loving hands. Paul even states that God will keep us in this faith according to Philippians 1:6.
This is our God. He is the Mighty Creator of life and love, faith and hope. No wonder the Psalmists describe Him with such marvelous descriptions that defy human logic. “But You are the same, and Your years have no end” (Ps. 102:27); “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God” (Ps. 90:2). The writer is telling us that our God doesn’t change. He is not like man or the world constantly changing. But our God is mighty, powerful, faithful, loving and gracious. PAUSE.
Beloved, you may have heard the expression: “God is good; all the time. All the time; God is good.” Psalm 136 declares, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalms 136:1). That doesn’t mean that everything that happens in our corrupt, confused, and chaotic world is good. Far from it! But it does mean that, in the midst of everything wrong, everything evil, and everything painful, God’s goodness appears as a light shining in the darkness. God’s goodness is present as living water in a barren desert. God’s goodness appears as love and hope in the wilderness of pain and suffering. God’s goodness is revealed in the most selfless act, causing His Son, His ONLY Son to come to earth and don upon Him human flesh and blood to save mankind and give them a future.
Through the mercy of the creating power of God, Mary conceived and bore a son—God’s Son would grow up and fulfill every promise God made to Adam and Eve in granting them forgiveness and restoration after falling into sin. His promise was fulfilled when Jesus laid down His life for the sins of humanity. Jesus’ mighty acts were evident as He crushed the grave stone and burst forth to remind us every promise made is a promise kept. But, He also creates faith in the hearts of His children. PAUSE.
A pastor told a story of a terrifying day at a New Jersey beach for a father, his son, and his daughter. The kids were 8 and 10, but they were good swimmers. In fact, they enjoyed swimming together in the Atlantic Ocean quite a lot. On this particular day, a few years ago, they went swimming like they had done so many times before.
As they swam, they got farther and farther from shore. Suddenly the father realized that the tide was carrying them out to sea. It had also separated them from each other. Trying to stay calm, he searched for both children, and realized that he had to help his son back to the beach for his safety and then return to rescue his daughter. So just before turning to the shore, he called out to her, “Mary, I am going to shore for help. If you get tired, remember what I taught you, stay calm, turn on your back, and remember you can float all day long. And I promise you, I promise you, I’ll come back for you; trust me.”
He and the boy made it to shore and then there was a frantic search for the girl. Finally, after four hours, they found her far out in the ocean, away from the shore. But, they found her calmly swimming on her back, not frightened at all.
There was a tremendous amount of relief when the calm girl was finally back on shore. Everyone wondered how she could be so at peace. And they were even more stunned when she gave such a simple answer. She said, “Daddy said he would come back for me and, like he said, I could float all day, so I swam and I floated because I knew he would come.”
That little girl knew that her father would do all in his power to come for her no matter the cost to himself. But, when it comes to things like forgiveness, life, and salvation; it’s going to take more than merely the love of a good mom or dad; it’s going to take the love of a Savior, God in the flesh, for you and me. The Bible says that the work of Jesus isn’t merely the best efforts of the best human being that ever lived. It’s infinitely more than that. He doesn’t merely show the way, share the truth, and shed some light on a situation. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Through Jesus we see the mighty work of the Father and the Holy Spirit as they continue to work in our lives by strengthening our faith and keeping us in the faith. That is the work of the Mighty Creator, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Today, as we observe and celebrate Trinity Sunday, we bow in humility before Him and praise Him for what He has done and continues to do. Amen.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA.