Trinity Sunday Sermon Sunday June 7th, 2020


Trinity Sunday Sermon All Saints Lydiard Millicent.

Sunday June 7th, 2020 Revd Tudor Vaughan Roberts

OT: Isaiah 40:12-17, 27 – end, Psalm 8, NT: 2 Corinthians 13:11-14,Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20.

 

When Jesus was raised from the dead not once did he appear to the crowds, nor to the Jewish or Roman authorities, he only appeared to his beloved disciples, and each time he came to them as all the Gospel writers report he had a specific message for them:

John records how he said, “My Peace I give unto you” and he also breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

The disciples had been meeting under lockdown, fear had grown in them ever since the crucifixion of their Lord so when the Risen Lord came to them, he brought encouragement:

A Message of forgiveness

Of re-commissioning

Of peace

Of the Sprits anointing

And of the physical evidence that he the Crucified and living Lord Jesus had beaten death and was now alive.

Now, Matthew, uniquely amongst the gospel writers writes about their meeting on a mountain, the disciples gather there to meet Jesus. In Matthew everything really important seems to happen on mountains the sermon on the Mount, the Mount of transfiguration, the hill on which the Cross stood, and now the mountain where Jesus said he would meet them. The resurrected Jesus, the victorious Jesus meets with the eleven we note its eleven, not twelve, no Judas Iscariot who betrayed him and killed himself. So, this is no neat meeting of twelve disciples to replace the twelve tribes. Luke will deal with that later in Acts 1.These disciples who meet him are not superheroes they are ordinary men though to a man all would die a martyr’s death for Jesus, or like John on Patmos suffer for following him. But that is all in the future for now its Jesus and his band of men, and Mathew says when they saw him, they worshipped him.

The last time they did this was recorded in Matthew 14:32 “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased, and those in the boat worshiped him saying “Truly you are the Son of God”

Jesus brought to humankind a complete encounter with the whole nature of God when creation was in chaos, he could calm the storm with a word, Why, How? well he had been there when creation happened (Proverbs 8 and Psalm 8).He had been at the Father’s side and with the Holy Spirit when creation happened (Genesis 1 and John 1).He was with the Father and The Spirit before Creation happened. So, Psalm 8 tells us, as Tricia read to us, “how majestic is his name”.

Vs 1 of Psalm 8 “O lord Our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth You have set your glory above the heavens”

Vs 3 “When I look at your heavens ,the work of your fingers the moon and the stars, which you have set in place”.

It is Jesus who reflects what is said in Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known Have you not heard; The Lord is the everlasting God the creator of the ends of the earth”

Now the Lord Jesus has fulfilled what was said in Isaiah and Psalm 8 before their eyes.

 

The Man they knew as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph and Mary, they had began to discover he was more than that that, he was the Messiah, born of the Virgin Mary, the Christ the Son of God.

Now he stood before them loved by the Father and overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

 As Bernard of Cluny  said in his small book of poems ‘The Celestial Country’:

The morn is bright with gladness

The Cross becomes our harbor,

And we triumph after sadness:

And Jesus to his true ones

Brings trophies fair to see:

And Jesus shall be loved and beheld in Galilee.

Beheld , when morn shall waken,

And shadows shall decay,

And each true hearted servant

Shall shone as doth the day:

And every ear shall hear it;-

Behold thy Kings array.

Behold they God in beauty

The law has passed away!”

Yes , My God, my King and Portion

In fullness of His grace,

We then shall see forever

And worship face to face.

The disciples give worship to Jesus,  that is they give to Jesus the worship due to God alone .As Thomas exclaimed in John “My Lord and my God” but some doubted not that is that they doubted that Jesus was raised from the dead nor probably did they doubt that he was the Son of God. They doubted having denied him or ran away from Jesus on the Cross, save John the Apostle, they doubted that Jesus would accept their worship. Peter had denied Jesus, others had fled. Unsurprising then that they doubted their acceptance before this ‘glorious risen Lord Jesus’.

Theo’s ( Our 18 yr. old Son) Team Leader in YWAM Lucknow (Youth with a Mission India) sent me his sermon over the internet so I thought I ought to watch it .It was in English and then translated into Hindi which gave me time to absorb it as the message was preached.

The gist of his message was this , based on an exposition of Joshua chapter 1.We are all people men and women, boys, and girls, who fail but none of us are ‘failures’

That is so relevant in lockdown many people have had businesses that have failed some have had marriages that have failed, some people’s courage has failed in the face of death. We fail, we deny, we desert, we run away, but grace never stops flowing. Are you and I self-condemners ? once a failure always a failure.? God forbid! It’s a peculiarly British disease to beat ourselves up but India seems to have knowledge of this too, and Jesus knows his disciples and he knows you and me and he has a job for the disciple to do and he always has a task or mission for each of us, so Go for it!

And by the way Jesus knew that Peter would fail him in Luke 22;32 Jesus said to Peter “Simon , Simon Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith might not fail”

But Jesus wants to rebuild Peter and the ten, he wants to restore them, recommission them, re-send out all his eleven disciples.

So, Jesus says to them.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me say Jesus.

Let us have a look at ‘authority’ in the Gospels.

In most accounts of the ‘temptation of Jesus’ the Devil tries to get Jesus to worship him. Jesus say NO!

In Matthew 7:29 the crowds were astounded at his teaching  “For he was teaching them as one who had authority and not as their scribes”

In Matthew 9:6 Jesus says “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins – then he turns to the paralytic “Rise he says and pick up your mat and go home”

Jesus authority was challenged by Satan at his temptation in the desert and at every juncture by the scribes, pharisees, sadducees, and teachers of the law.

Now having defeated Satan and shamed the authorities in their desperate but failed attempt to prove him guilty of blasphemy, but note this Jesus is now the victorious one, but he does not appear to his enemies to shame them, as I  have said before he goes to his beloved just as this morning he wants you his beloved to hear his voice to hear his words and come back into the protection and blessing of the triune God.

“All authority is given unto me, go therefore” says Jesus into missional encounters shout the truth the Christ resurrected from the grave, a new era has dawned. Now all that we know about God from all of scripture is fulfilled in Jesus All we know about the Holy Spirit is fulfilled in Jesus, all we know about the Father’s grace, mercy, and justice, is seen in Jesus.

Read Colossians 1:18 to 23 St Paul says it all.  

“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation- 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant”

Now Jesus does not want Robots that say automatically “I am converted I am converted I am converted”.! ( He does not want angels per se though he uses them, he wants You and me!)

He specifically wants to make disciples and that takes time. Go therefore he says to his disciples Go and make disciples.

Thomas Mc Call says in his book “Forsaken The trinity and the Cross and why it matters.”

Sanctification ,the process of making us more like Jesus is not merely about doing ‘better’  or ‘ doing your best’ all the  while hoping that you have made yourself good enough for God but all the while  knowing deep down that you simply cannot make yourself that good. No! sanctification is the gracious provision of the Triune God in the death and  resurrection of the Son applied by continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit to make us whole, to make us truly fitting for communion with the Triune God- it is Gods work to make us what he intends us to be , to make us more than we could ever ask for or even dare to dream – it is Gods work to bring health and wholeness and shalom and true Justice (as individuals and communities) it is in a word the work of the Trinity to make us holy.

And Jesus spells out that this is not a tribal faith it is global; it is in fact of importance for earth and heaven. Go therefore and make disciples of all Nations and baptise them in the  name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ( baptism is  the only sign or doorway into Christian faith) The First Christians were sent out to witness to Christ crucified Christ raised from death they took the Holy Spirit’s power and in Jesus name did miracles and they baptised people and called people to repentance, confessing the name of Jesus and (being baptised) and  sharing the Lord’s supper and then themselves to going out and making disciples and guess what? the Church that way, without building, grew like wildfire. Read Acts.

As CS Lewis said in his broadcast talks published in 1942 in the middle of the Second World war.

“There are three thing that spread the Christ life to us: baptism,  belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names- Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lords supper. At least these are the three ordinary methods”.

 

In a pandemic it is easy to be down and to get discouraged but do not do that, Read Isaiah 40 and Psalm 8,Read 2 Corinthians 13 and the last four verses. By Gods grace the Church took Jesus with them and proclaimed that in Him was all the Glory of God in Isaiah and the Psalms and they did all this without the written gospels in their hands only a few distributed letters of Paul and Peter. And like the Church today they took belief baptism and the Lord supper that was al that was needed, and the Church grew.

Run and do not be weary. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Be lifted up on eagles’ wings You are not a failure Like me you may have failed but Jesus want to take you and send you out .So Go!

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Sprit be with you all” 2 Corinthians 13:14

 

Revd Tudor Vaughan Roberts Trinity Sunday 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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