Trinity Sunday (Year B)
Scripture Readings*: Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 29, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17
Isaiah has revealed how his people had rejected the “Holy One” (chapters 1-5). Now he tells of his face-to-face encounter with this Holy God. In the year of King Uzziah’s death (740 b.c.) Isaiah receives a vision of the real King, the Lord, seated on His heavenly throne. Seraphs surround Him, chanting “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” Overwhelmed by God’s splendor, Isaiah acknowledges his and his people’s sinful condition.
After Isaiah is symbolically purified, the Lord commissions him as a messenger to His spiritually insensitive people. He was to preach until judgment swept through the land and the people were carried into exile, leaving only a remnant.
As believers (followers of Christ), we have been released from the law and sin because we have become sons and daughters of God (8:13-14). As His adopted children, we are no longer slaves to the fear of God’s punishment for our sins.
Being “adopted” (8:15) was a very significant matter in Roman law and culture. The adoptee was taken out of his previous state and placed in a new relationship as son to a new father. As such, all his former debts were cancelled and he was able to start a new life. As adoptees of God the Father, we are freed from our debt of sin and receive the full rights, privileges, and responsibilities of God’s own children.
A Pharisee named Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, seeking deeper spiritual truth from this miracle worker. Jesus cut short any philosophical discussion by declaring that salvation required being “born again” (3:3;). Nicodemus seems confused and speaks of physical birth. Jesus explains that this new birth is spiritual in nature (3:4–7). To the human understanding it is like the wind, whose origin and destination are mystery (3:8).
Jesus continues to bring clarification to Nicodemus by using an Old Testament reference of when Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness as a means of salvation for the people. Jesus presents the gospel by clarifying that the source of this good news is God’s love, demonstrated in the giving of his only Son to die on the cross, and all who believe in Him (Jesus) will live forever!
Living Out Loud
Mental healthcare experts often encourage patients to “speak their truth.” This truth speaking involves more than facts – it encompasses our emotions and senses, allowing the entirety of our being to give voice to the truth as we have experienced it.
Jesus’s words in today’s Gospel reading bring to mind this same concept: “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen…” Jesus makes it clear that believers speak and live what they have seen. This statement means faith is more than a series of abstract concepts. Faith is experienced in what we see, touch, and encounter. It involves our heads, hearts, words, and actions.
A full and vibrant faith is one that is both articulated and lived. Faith fully alive is a faith that lives out loud, “speaking truth” to a watching world.
Prayer for Trinity Sunday– Almighty God, help me confess my faith through a life of steadfast worship; through Jesus Christ, Amen.