The Holy Triune God “created the heavens and the earth,” and “behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:1, 31). However, after Adam and Eve fell into sin and plunged God’s good creation into decay and death, the Son of God would be “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” to be “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23). As Jesus “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33), He also raises up all the baptized and pours out the Spirit upon them through the preaching of His Gospel. He sends out His Apostles to “make disciples of all nations” by “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and “teaching them to observe all that [He has] commanded” (Matt. 28:19–20). Through such baptizing and teaching–Gospel and Sacraments–the Holy Triune God recreates us in the Image and Likeness of His incarnate Son, Jesus the Christ, and behold, it is “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
Collect for the Feast of the Holy Trinity: Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever.
Prayer for the Holy Spirit: Lord God, heavenly Father, let Your Holy Spirit dwell in us that He may enlighten and lead us into all truth and evermore defend us from all adversities;
Collect for grace: Almighty God, heavenly Father, Your mercies are new to us every morning and, though we in no wise deserve Your goodness, You abundantly provide for all our wants of body and soul. Give us, we humbly pray, Your Holy Spirit that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Your benefits, and cheerfully serve You;
Collect for peace: O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness;
Monday, 13 June 2011—Psalm 16:8–11; Antiphon, Liturgical Text—The antiphon for Sunday’s Introit is an ancient liturgical text: Blessed be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity. Let us give glory to Him because He has shown His mercy to us. The Triune God has shown His mercy to us by creating us, daily providing for all our needs, and in accomplishing our salvation by the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Our response, therefore, is to give glory to Him, and to set the LORD always before us, for He has made known to us the path of life.
Tuesday, 14 June 2011—Psalm 8—This psalm of David nicely ties together the three appointed readings for Trinity Sunday. The first two verses tell how the entire creation proclaims the majesty, glory, and strength of the Lord, the Creator of all things, as testified to in the Old Testament reading. The rest of the psalm speaks of Christ, the second Adam, our Savior, of whose redemption Peter preaches in the second reading, and who commissions His Church to make disciples by baptizing and teaching about Him in the Gospel reading.
Wednesday, 15 June 2011—Genesis 1:1—2:4a—The opening chapter of the Bible matter-of-factly recounts the creation of the earth, the universe, and all that is in them in seven days by God. Which person of the Trinity was responsible for the creation? All three persons! The first three verses alone proclaim this fact: The Spirit is said to be hovering over the face of the waters, while God (the Father) speaks—speaks His Word, who is the Son, as St John tells us in the opening verses of his Gospel. On the sixth day, there is further testament to the working of the Trinity, when God says, Let Us make man in Our own image, after Our likeness. Not just the Father, but the Son and the Holy Spirit as well, were involved in the work of creation, just as all three are involved in the work of salvation.
Thursday, 16 June 2011—Acts 2:14a, 22–36—The second reading for the Trinity Sunday is a continuation of St Peter’s Pentecost Day sermon in Jerusalem. In this portion, Peter speaks of Jesus Christ, a man attested to you by God with mighty wonders and signs, who was crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men, but raised up from the dead because He was not just a man, but also Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Peter quotes from Psalms 16 and 110, showing how the Old Testament testifies of Christ, and also proclaims how all three persons of the Trinity were involved in the salvation of mankind: Jesus (the Son) was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God (the Father), has been exalted at the right hand of God, and now pours out His Spirit that people might hear and believe the Good News.
Friday, 17 June 2011—Matthew 28:16–20—Before His ascension to the right hand of His Father, Jesus charged His disciples with the task of making disciples of all nations. What are the tools which He has given to accomplish this task? His teaching and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Baptism in the Name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Which parts of His Word are important? Which of His Words are they to pass down faithfully? Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Finally, He promises always to be with us—and so He is, in Word and Sacrament, the means of grace.
Saturday, 18 June 2011—There are few hymns that are addressed to, or focus on, the Holy Spirit. Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest (LSB #498), is one such hymn. It is of ancient origin, from at least the eighth century, and generally attributed to the great Frankish scholar and theologian, Rhabanus Maurus (though sometimes Gregory the Great or Charlemagne are given credit). In the Middle Ages, it was one of the best loved and most frequently used invocations of the Holy Spirit, and its singing was accompanied by the use of incense, candles, bells, and rich vestments. The last two stanzas are explicitly Trinitarian, making it ideal for Trinity Sunday: stanza six (like Luther’s explanation to the Third Article of the Creed) affirms that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us to know the Triune God aright, and stanza seven is a doxology—a hymn of praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr.Jeffrey M. Keuning pastor of St John Casey and Zion, Dexter IA of the Iowa West District LCMS