Daily Devotional for Thursday June 11, 2020
Thursday of the Festival of Trinity – Acts 2:14a, 22-36
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them:
22"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.25For David says concerning him, "'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
29"Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.'
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
This is the week of the observance of Trinity, the doctrine which was articulated at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. People had been talking this way for some time, but there was disagreement leading up to this meeting of the leaders of Christendom. At Nicea they agreed to talk about Trinity the way we continue to talk about it, in the words of the Nicene Creed. But talking about something and understanding it are two different things. The Christians who articulated Trinity all admitted that God was simply too big to fit into our minds. We could only describe what we see. We could not define or explain it.
This passage which we find in Acts 2 was integral to that description. We find all three members of the Trinity here. God the Father attested to Jesus’ status through mighty deeds and especially by raising him from the dead. Jesus, for his part, was obedient to death, crucifed, died, buried. It was not the Father who died, but the Son. The Father raised the Son to life. Peter bears witness to it. And now the Holy Spirit is poured out manifesting in the tongues of flame and the languages proclaimed. Peter spoke these words on that first Christian Pentecost Day.
I have been preaching sermons and thinking about Trinity for nearly 30 years. I still cannot explain it to you. I can only describe it. The Father sent the Son. The Son obeyed, suffered, died, and rose again. The Holy Spirit, poured out on each of us in Baptism, connects us to what Christ has done. I do not understand but I confess what Peter proclaimed to be so. By the strange workings of this Three-in-One God the salvation of the world, including you and me, has transpired. Praise God for the Trinity.
Rev. Phillip Brandt, MDiv, PhD
On a personal note, Dominic Oberon Karlen arrived safely yesterday morning. We praise God that Baby and Mom are both doing GREAT! 8 lbs 2 oz.