May 27, 2018 – A Higher Love

Posted on : May 24th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Sunday, the week following our observance of Pentecost, multiple Christian communities globally will observe, Trinity Sunday.  On Trinity Sunday, Christians are encouraged to remember and honor three Divine facets, through which we have come to better know God:  1.  God the Creator, Mother/Father – who watches over us; 2.  God the Son, Jesus Christ – who lived with us and 3.  God the Holy Spirit – who resides within us.  Rev. Dr. Fred Anderson, Pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, described the Trinity in this way, in a Trinity Sunday sermon entitled, The Threefold Nature of God:

“The Bible reveals this God coming to us in three distinct ways, as three distinct co-equals–over, with and in us–who are nonetheless the same God. God is over us as our source, our creator, our protector, the One above and beyond who governs justly throughout all creation–King and Lord–the Divine Parent Jesus called “Father,” beginning and preserving all things. But this One God is also a loving savior, gracious, merciful, and has revealed himself as a Son, determined to overcome the gulf between the holy and the profane, reconciling, liberating, and saving–redeeming the profane from its lost-ness so that we might live in communion with God. And this God not only creates, governs and preserves, reveals, loves and redeems, this One (Spirit) also renews, transforms, empowers and sustains everything within creation and remains eternally present to us. All of this is the work of the One God who is indivisible in being, purpose and work; God is one.”

This month, our world has been challenged by multiple, eye-opening events.  Fellow citizens have been devastated by the volcanic eruption on Kilauea, in Hawaii which began May 3, and has since forced thousands from their homes, destroyed nearly 40 structures — including dozens of homes — and created more than two dozen fissures in the ground surrounding the volcano.  More families of high school students have experienced the tragic loss of ten students in the recent high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.  Finally, the 45th occupant of 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the occupant’s supporter’s, daily precede to vocalize, factual untruths.

During such unsettling times, this Sunday’s scriptural passage John 3:1-17, gives us the opportunity to meditate on how God’s presence can fortify us to stand more sure-footedly, in such challenging times.  Like Nicodemus, we may have difficulty in understanding how God’s presence can help us to better negotiate uncertain periods like these.  Yet Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in this morning’s text, undeniably helps us to understand, we’re not alone, as we contemplate this Sunday’s message, “A Higher Love.”  Please join us!

Blessings,

Howard

This Sunday’s Scripture

John 3: 1-17

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode′mus, a ruler of the Jewish people. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can someone be born when they are old? Can she enter a second time into her mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can this be?” Jesus answered, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except Jesus who descended from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Christ be lifted up, that whoever believes in Christ may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that God gave his only Child, that whoever believes in this child should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Child into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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