“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
“O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidences shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This week we celebrate the Trinity. This is one of the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith. As you read the Scriptures for this week I encourage you to search for glimpses of the Trinity in each one.
It must be acknowledged that the theology about the Trinity wasn’t fully expressed until after Scripture was written. The doctrine of the Trinity is not some esoteric or merely philosophical theology. The doctrine of the Trinity came to expression as Christians attempted to put into words their experience of God in Scripture, the sacraments and everyday life. The Trinity explains best both what Scripture teaches and the earliest Christians experienced.
The Trinity can be described but not explained. The interrelationship of God the Father, Son and Spirit is beyond our comprehension but not our experience.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Cor 13:14
Ascension Day is one of those dates on our Christian calendar that is easy to miss. Like the story of the Ascension of Christ, it doesn’t command the attention that other big dates and events do such as Christmas and Easter. Falling on a Thursday might be part of what keeps it off of our collective calendars but it should remain in the forefront of our minds.
This week I hope we will recognize that the ascension of Christ serves to remind us that while he may be the Lord of our hearts (as well he should be) he is the Lord of the Universe. His ascension points to his sovereignty over all.
“Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.”
“Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
“Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grand that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. (Palm Saturday at Wheatland) You can read about the origin of this celebration here: Mark 11:1-11. Palm Sunday is a double edged sword. On the one hand it is a day on which we should rejoice. The Messiah is being heralded by those he came to save. Waving the Palm branches and shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in name of the Lord!” is our affirmation of the Messiahship, the Lordship, of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand the palm branches we wave will deteriorate. They will grow dry and brittle and eventually crumble into dust. They then become for us the ashes we smear on our foreheads at the beginning of the Lenten season. We wave the green, lively branch on Palm Sunday as our faith stands firm. That same branch is the ash of repentance. Those green branches symbolized the faith of the people of Jerusalem heralding their deliverer. Their faith in him was inspiring, fresh and true. A few days later those same palm branch waving faithful shouted “crucify him!”
As we wave the branches this year may we be reminded that is the faith of Christ through us that empowers our faithfulness. As watch them crumble of the year may we be reminded that is Christ’s faith that preserves us in and through our weakness.