It is a little tricky to try to put together a sermon for today. In the Church year it is Trinity Sunday. The gospel tells the story about Nicodemus visiting Jesus at night. Then the end of today’s gospel (John 3:1-17) ends with the verses 16 ad 17. These are some of the best know passages in the New Testament. They read, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

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I believe that the above two verses should dispel people’s believe that God is a vengeful, hateful God. It seems that many of us envision God as an angry father who will punish us if we get out of line. Even worse that God will bring down floods and earthquakes and famines on sinners who disobey His law. We are all sinners and God loves us anyway. Let me repeat, we are all sinners and God loves us anyway. He sends His grace to all who will accept it. If God was hateful we would all be dead! Chew on that one for a while! Now having said that we do need to realize that God doesn’t deal in Cheap Grace. His grace is not to be taken lightly or taken for granted.

“ For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Let’s move on to Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. He was an educated man and devout in his beliefs. He realized that Jesus was a holy man. He knew that Jesus came from God since He performed so many miracles. So Nicodemus visited Jesus at night. Jesus told him that he must be born again. Nicodemus (like the rest of us) questioned how could someone be born again? Jesus then explained the difference between flesh and spirit. So this being born again is of a spiritual nature. He said that the wind is like the Spirit, it blows where it will. Nicodemus then asked how can that be? Jesus told him that people were not believing what He taught about earthly things, even though they could see His majesty on earth. So then how would people believe what Jesus told people about heavenly, spiritual matters?

And today is Trinity Sunday. Now there is a difficult concept for us to grasp. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is three distinct beings in one God. See I told you it was hard for us to fathom. That this Trinity is doing a cosmic dance for all time. The Trinity is in mutual love and respect for itself, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Ah, maybe being born again might also mean that we realize that the Holy Trinity loves us! That our spiritual self realizes that there is BLESSED HOPE for us in Jesus’ Resurrection. It means that we are grateful for God’s love for us. Like Nicodemus we ponder all of these things in our hearts and in our souls. Amen!

Father Ed Murphy, Shared Episcopal Ministry

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