May 31, 2015
John 3:1-17
Romans 8:12-17
Isaiah 6:1-8


The essential three-point sermon
Trinity Sunday

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David Kalas
The pulpit does not stand in a vacuum. It is always located in a specific place, and each sermon from it occurs at a particular time. And the place and the time influence the pulpit, just as the pulpit is expected to speak to its place and its time.

The liturgical calendar is one of the factors of time that impacts our preaching, and this week that calendar invites us to preach about the Trinity. On the one hand, of course, this is an established part of the theology of each person in our pews. They routinely hear references in liturgy and song to “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” and they affirm that fundamental doctrine each time they recite one of the historic creeds. At the same time, however, the Trinity may be one of the most underdeveloped parts of their theology in terms of our people’s ability to articulate and explain what they believe.

I encountered just last week a rather common example of the problem. While teaching a class, I asked a question about Jesus. One of the students, in an effort to clarify, responded, “Do you mean Jesus or God?” 

We all know what the student meant by the question. My hunch, however, is that the student didn’t know why it was an incorrect question. And at the core of that misunderstanding is a basic ignorance of what we believe about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

One Sunday is not enough time, of course, to cover this material completely. It is, however, enough to begin. And that is our opportunity this Sunday -- perhaps even our requirement.

There is a theological task involved, to be sure, but we do our God, our people, and our pulpits a disservice if the end result of our work is just a theological treatise. The ancient church father believed that the “Holy, holy, holy” exclamation of the seraphim in Isaiah 6 was a reference to the Trinity. Yet it was a reference made in reverence, awe, and worship. Let that be our tone and our goal, then, in our preaching. 

We will point to and speak of the Trinity this Sunday. In the process, we will help to clarify our people’s theology and develop their understanding. But beyond that, we want to enhance their worship. For that is what thinking about God and seeing him more clearly should always inspire....

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May 24, 2015
Pentcost
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May 31, 2015
Trinity Sunday
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