Revised Common Lectionary: Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; John 3:1-17; Romans 8:12-17

The Call of Isaiah is dictated in chapter 6 with a glorious vision of God as a king seated on a throne surrounded by his attendants, the six-winged seraphs above the Lord. Even the seraphs seem not worthy of God, covering their feet and their faces, not daring to touch the holy space of heaven, not daring to look upon the face of God. Isaiah feels unworthy to speak in God’s presence, until the coal is pressed to his lips and Isaiah is purified. We are reminded through Isaiah’s vision that God is beyond our understanding, beyond our comprehension, but we do have a way of responding to God: through our answering God’s call, through our saying “yes” to God, to our saying, “Send me!” We may not understand God, but God understands us, and calls us into the world to carry God’s message.

Psalm 29 speaks of God as the Great Creator, whose voice carries the power of creation. God calls forth creation by speaking in Genesis 1 and the creative power of God’s voice is echoed here. It is God’s voice that calls creation out of the void, the deep, the darkness–and it is God’s voice that calls us out of the darkness of the world to witness to the light.

John 3:1-17 is the familiar story of Nicodemus which we read a portion of during Lent. Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about being born of the Spirit, and that God’s love for the whole world is so great that God has sent Jesus. We often read verse 16 without reading verse 17–that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Using the Father-Son language, we understand the relationship of Christ to the Creator to be intimate, close, indwelling, along with the Spirit–a hint at the Trinity. While the Trinity is a concept never named in the Bible, we have inferred the triune relationship of God through scriptures such as these, knowing that we can never fully understand God, the Trinity helps us understand how God has been made known to us.

Romans 8:12-17 also infers the triune relationship of God by tying in our relationship with Christ as also being children of God, who have a close relationship with God to where we also can call God Abba (the Aramaic word for Father that Christ used indicates closeness). And we are led by the Spirit of God, who guides us in this world to the way of life.

This is Trinity Sunday. While throughout Christian history we have made attempts to state what God is and to create doctrines around the Trinity, our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters have had a much better understanding in my view, which is that the Trinity is a Mystery. We cannot understand it, we cannot understand God, but the Trinity helps us to understand how God relates to us.

Call to Worship:
Leader: God our Creator, we call You Father, Mother, Author of Life:
People: Draw us closer to You, O God.
Leader: Christ our Savior, we call You the Son, the Messiah, the One who Saves:
People: Draw us closer to You, O God.
Leader: Holy Spirit, we call You the Advocate, the Inspirer, Breath and Wind of God:
People: Draw us closer to You, O God.
Leader: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty; Heaven and earth are full of Your glory:
People: Draw us closer to You, O God.
All: Draw us in, Spirit, Christ and Creator, that we might journey with You more fully and deeply, in this life and beyond. Amen.

Prayer of Confession:
Holy God, we confess that at times we draw away from You. We get caught up in the world around us. We get bullied by religious people and end up pulling away from You. We roll our eyes at the supermarket spirituality that seems to permeate our society and at times push away a meaningful connection with Your presence. Forgive us for being caught up in the culture of religion. Forgive us for the times we have lost sight of You due to the misuse of Your name by others. Call us out, clean our lips, and send us forth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon (from Romans 8):
We have received a spirit of adoption. We are all children of God. We are loved and God takes notice of us. When we draw closer to each other, God draws close to us. We are forgiven, we are renewed, and we are restored. Amen.

Abba, Father, Mother, Creator–we call You by many names, but the names we choose show our relationship with You. We desire to draw closer to You, O God. We desire to hear Your voice above the chatter of the world, to know Your ways and to walk in them. Spirit of Life, Wind and Breath among us, we feel You move through us, guiding us on our journey, inspiring us to share Your love with others. Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of us all, our Brother and Friend, we desire to walk in Your ways and to love one another as You have first loved us. Triune God, we desire to relate to You and to each other more fully, so that we might draw into the depths of Your love, first glimpsed at creation, when Your voice called us and the earth forth out of darkness into Your light. Continue to call us, guide us and lead us into this world and beyond. Amen.

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