We do better to adore the mysteries of Deity than to investigate them.Philip Melanchthon
Every year when Holy Trinity Sunday rolls around, I remember this word of wisdom from Martin Luther’s fellow reformer and dear friend, Philip Melanchthon: “We do better to adore the mysteries of Deity than to investigate them.” To me, this is what Holy Trinity Sunday is all about: adoring the mysteries of the One God revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not investigating them, or trying to understand them, but adoring these beautiful mysteries.
There are a number of poems that I looked at for this Sunday, but I have decided to use George Herbert’s poem, “Trinitie Sunday.” Don’t let the archaic spelling of Herbert’s poem throw you – read this poem aloud and it will sound surprisingly modern and relevant. While there is a lot that could be said about this poem, I’ll limit myself to just a few comments. There are three verses, obviously, but lots of other threes in this incredible poem. In the first verse, for example, we are praying to the three persons of the Trinity, who create, redeem and sanctify us. In the second verse, we see a reference to the past, present, and future. In the third verse, we see a mention of “these three” theological virtues from 1 Corinthians 13: faith, hope, and charity. And also in this verse, the three ways that we live out our faith: heart, mouth, and hands. And, finally, a reminder that we run, rise, and rest with God – we rise with the one who redeems us, run with the one who creates us, and rest in the one who sanctifies us. There is more, but I will leave it at that, to make sure that I am adoring the mysteries of Deity more than trying to investigate them. And with that, let us pray:
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. In you, O God, I place my trust. Help me now to quiet myself and listen, that the thoughts and prayers of my heart might be pleasing to you. Amen
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:13
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Devotional Poem: “Trinitie Sunday” by George Herbert
Lord, who hast form’d me out of mud, And hast redeem’d me through thy bloud, And sanctifi’d me to do good; Purge all my sinnes done heretofore: For I confesse my heavie score, And I will strive to sinne no more. Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me, With faith, with hope, with charitie; That I may runne, rise, rest with thee.
O Lord, who has formed me, redeemed me, and sanctified me: how majestic is your name in all the earth! Hallowed be your name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and always. Your grace, mercy, and steadfast love for me is more than I could dare ask for, and more than I deserve. Forgive me, Lord, of my many sins, and help me as I strive to run, rise, and rest with you. Thank you for your gifts to me of faith, hope, and above all, love. They have sustained me through my life, they sustain me now, and I trust that they will continue to in the days to come, no matter what the future holds. For all that I have, all that I am, and all that I will ever be, I give thanks to you; through your son, Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen