Monday, June 1, 2015

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

+ Feast of the Holy Trinity +
Confirmation Sunday
Redeemer Lutheran, HB
Series B: Isaiah 6:1-8; Acts 2: 14-36; John 3:1-17
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 Holy Trinity Sunday is a day for confessing.
 Along with the prophet Isaiah we confess: Woe is me. I am lost! I am a man of unclean lips; and I live among a people of unclean lips.
 This is good and right. We confess our sins on Sunday and every day. But it is not the only confession we make today.
We confess the object of our Christian faith -  the Triune God revealed in Scripture. And we confess the content of our faith - what God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - has done for us men and for our salvation. We confess who we believe in, and what we believe in.
 And so today we confess the Athanasian Creed, a rich, beautiful, and thorough confession of the Holy Trinity. Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith...And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.
As an aside, we need not squirm at confessing the word catholic in the creeds. It’s in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds as well: we believe in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. It simply means universal, whole, or the Church at all times and in all places.
 And yet the Athanasian Creed can seem daunting at first, as Dorothy Sayers once said, “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit...the whole thing incomprehensible.”
 And yet for our sakes, the incomprehensible God became known, The infinite God took on finite human flesh for us. The uncreated God was born a creature to save creation.
 As Jesus teaches Nicodemus: God loved the world in this way, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 In the Creeds we begin to confess the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the Christian faith. We answer Jesus’ question to his disciples: Who do you say that I am?
 There’s a repetitive phrase which runs throughout our Lutheran Confessions. This we believe, teach, and confess.
 This is what we’re called to do as students of God’s Word. After all, the Christian life is a daily catechism class.
 We believe, teach, and confess that the 10 commandments are God’s Law, given to reveal our sin and our need for a Savior.
 We believe, teach, and confess the Apostles’ Creed, that it is God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  - who is active and working for our creation, redemption, and sanctification.
 We believe, teach, and confess the Lord’s Prayer as we say back to God what he has taught us in his Word.
 We believe, teach, and confess Holy Baptism, where God clothes us in Christ, buries and raises us with Jesus, gives us new birth from above, works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to us.
 We believe, teach, and confess that we confess our sins and receive absolution from the pastor as from God himself.
 We believe, teach, and confess that the Lord’s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is my body, given for you. This is my blood, shed for you. For the forgiveness of your sins.
 Today Jerry, Catherine, and Grace confess this Christian faith. It is the faith given to us all in Baptism.

So, whether you were confirmed as a youth or an adult, today or decades ago, we believe, teach, and confess.
 …that the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the Scriptures is faithful and true.
 … that we intend to hear the word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully.
 … that we intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it.
 And we do so by the grace of God.
 And perhaps the seriousness of the vows we've made causes us to repent, as well it should. But we repent of our sins knowing that there is someone whose confession is greater than ours.
 We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
 We are saved by grace through faith alone, but in the Christian faith you are never alone. The Church is no army of one. We are a house, a bride, a holy nation, a body. And Christ is our cornerstone, our bridegroom, our king, and our head.
 And so, every day is a day for confession. We believe, teach, and confess.
 A blessed Trinity Sunday to each of you...
 In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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