Sunday 07 June 2020 is Trinity Sunday. It is the first Sunday after Pentecost and celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In other words, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The readings this week are beginnings and endings. From the start of the Bible in Genesis to a couple of final sections from Books in the New Testament: Matthew and Second Corinthians. Rev. Geoff McKee picks up on this in his sermon.
You’ll find the Scriptures below, along with Prayers, the audio sermon and a musical choice. This week the music is chosen by Geoff. It’s a hymn which has ‘local connections’ for him.
Readings for Trinity
Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 and Matthew 28:16-20
Genesis 1:1-2:4 (New International Version)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Call to Worship
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
2 Corinthians 13:13
Lord God of the living, from whom all blessings flow, we welcome a new day with thanksgiving because you have cared for us through the night. Wherever you take us today, whoever we meet, be in our going and our meeting. Grant us wisdom to cherish what you give us and generosity to share what we receive. Fill us with the Spirit so that we may show courage, kindness, and a sense of humour in the face of the day’s hardships. In Christ’s peace, may we withhold harsh judgment against those who would do us harm. Show us ways that we may serve you throughout the day and into the night so that, waking or sleeping, we live for you; in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ.
Lord God who is Three in One, we confess that we have turned away from you. We gaze upon ourselves as if we are worthy of worship. We take your creation into our hands, not to love, but to use and then to discard. We go to people, not to serve, but to press them into our service. We do not deserve that you would even notice us, but we pray for mercy because you are merciful. Flame of love, purify us from sin; lead us to your truth. Transform us into faithful disciples who worship you alone.
Holiness, Word, Power, you reveal yourself as one God in three persons, a mighty, creative, life-generating dancer who invites your creation to join you. Catch us up in your love and lead us into your world to call others to follow you with singing and rejoicing.
NOTE: The above audio is in mp3 format and is also downloadable, if you wish to listen at a time when you may not have a reliable internet connection. Other devices are available but, on a PC, for example, if you right-click on the 3 vertical dots at the right side of the audio player, the drop-down menu should offer the option to “Save as…”
Prayers of Intercession
We give you thanks, O God, for our world, which you made and renewed in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Make us wise and careful of your gifts as we live on Earth.
We pray that the love which passes ceaselessly between the Father and the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit may renew and deepen the life of each Christian and draw us all into your unending life.
We pray for all ecumenical endeavours that seek to bring us closer to each other and to you.
We pray for Earth and all creatures and plants; for healthy water and air and soil; for policies and laws that regard our home in God’s universe as a precious gift.
We pray for our families, our households, and our communities, that your life together—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—may show us the like importance of each of us, and so strengthen us in your grace and truth.
We pray for the sick and those who suffer in any way through these challenging days of the pandemic; for those who struggle to pay rent or a mortgage; for those who have no home; for those who are neglected and abused in our communities; for people who long for family and are instead alone; for children who do not have a good guide to raise them up; and for whatever else you see that we need.
Into your hands we entrust all that is of concern this day, sure that you hear our pleas, grateful that your will be done on earth as in heaven. We pray this in the name of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray…
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
I (Rev. Geoff McKee) have chosen the hymn for this Sunday, “St Patrick’s Breastplate” and Kath Robertson chose the link.
I’m very pleased that she chose a recording from the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Downpatrick, my home county. It is believed that St Patrick was buried there. The hymn was based on later writings about St Patrick and is counted among the best of Victorian hymn writing from Ireland, the words translated by C.F. Alexander in 1889. This is a short version which is particularly appropriate for Trinity Sunday.