Please join us for our June 7th Worship Service! You can reach the service on YouTube by clicking the following link https://youtu.be/8xCYvqyGk6o
June 7, 2020 [White]
Trinity Sunday (First Sunday After Pentecost)
2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20
The Fellowship of Trinity
Fellowship and worship
Surprise! You and I are invited to our brother Nat Woodruff’s garden. I know you had a big smile when you saw Nat’s face at the beginning of our service. Over the past weeks, we have shown you different locations of our church to help you feel connected. But how can we bring you a sense of “connection” with our church family through our online worship service? This is one of the questions the worship team has been working on. We thought of the interesting idea of having a service at someone’s garden as a sign of our connection or fellowship with one another. Thankfully, our brother Nat was there to accept our suggestion, so we are welcomed and greeted by him this morning. I hope this service will bring you a valuable opportunity to deepen your love and care for one another.
Following our Christian calendar, today is the first Sunday after Pentecost, which is also called “Trinity Sunday.” So, I am supposed to talk about what the Trinity is all about. “Well, on this joyful Sunday morning in Nat’s beautiful garden, do you really want to talk about Trinity?” You may want to argue since you know this is a serious subject. “Why don’t you just talk about fellowship to provide some fun with this service?” I know this is probably your suggestion for this morning. In fact, we designed this service at Nat’s garden to bring the spirit of fellowship into your hearts. So regardless of our Christian calendar, I will go with our plan about fellowship in my sermon.
Actually, Christian worship is all about fellowship with God and one another. God doesn’t sit on the heavenly throne but always joins in our gatherings because fellowship is the very nature of God. How do I know this? I’d like to point to the Trinity! Basically, the concept of Trinity is all about fellowship. I tried to ignore the subject of the Trinity, but now have come back to it. Perhaps, this is the right time and place to talk about the Trinity as I planned to talk about fellowship in today’s service.
Fellowship and Trinity
Why is the Trinity all about fellowship? Look at this triangle (showing the slide) in which each of the divine Persons are connected to one other. This triangle is not about hierarchy in which somebody is on the top and the others are on the bottom. Rather, this form is much more concerned about connection, harmony, equality, respect, and mutual relationships. Throughout this triangle form, we can see our God of Trinity desires to share fellowship.
“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Whether you like it or not, this is what we call God of Trinity. If you take this traditional language literally, you will fall into a bias (like male superiority) because God is pictured as Father and Son. Unfortunately, some Christians really believe that men must be in charge and women have to support them because God is the Father. If you go further with this literal understating of God, maybe you would say that racism is God’s will (I am better and higher, so I have the right to rule you, choke you, kill you. This is a very dangerous mindset that can cause divisions and conflicts in our society). If God has favoritism with men, some classes, and some races, how can we believe God loves the whole world; God stands for the socially weak; God is the Savior of all? This Trinity, which implies mutual and harmonious relationships, is not suitable for God’s nature. We have to throw it away and find another symbol.
We know human language is not perfect. It’s only a tool to express our thoughts, ideas, and emotions. God is much bigger than our language and our mindset. So let’s take into account that this terminology of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is only a matter of language and then meditate on what this Trinity presents to us. Let me give you my understanding about Trinity: God is like the Father or Mother, who gives life to all things in the universe: God is like the Son who is incarnated (born) into our world and our lives – “God-with-us”; God is also the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts, leading us, strengthening us, and turning on the lights for us, and so we can call God “Abba,” “Shepherd,” “Savior,” or “Friend.”
No Christian scholars have logically explained the possibility of Trinity – God exists in three distinct Persons but still the same one God? Maybe our doctrine of Trinity should be taken emotionally rather than logically. I hope you to feel God’s friendly intimacy every time you ponder on this meaning of the Trinity. Once again Trinity is not about authority or hierarchy but about connection, harmony, equality, respect, and relationships. It is all about fellowship.
Sharing the fellowship with all races
I can feel a kind of genuine and divine fellowship when I gather with you as a family in God. Look, my relationship with Nat (or any of you). Nat and I don’t have many things to share in our lives. He is white and I am so-called yellow; he is tall and I am small; he is 50 years old (plus alpha) and I am 20 years old (plus alpha). Our growth backgrounds and cultural environments are different from one other. No matter how I look and who I am, Nat is happy to invite me and all of you into his garden and willing to worship together with us because he has the fellowship of God in his heart.
Who is better? Who is higher? Who is in power? Who is the insider and who is the outsider? Who deserves honor and who deserves punishment? Don’t you know those questions had never been in Jesus’ relationship with his people? Yes, indeed, Jesus Christ our Lord commands his disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (v. 19). So, as we are his people, do we have the right to judge, correct, fight against others who don’t belong to us or who are different from us? We must not take this command as a military-like-mission. In the following words, Jesus gives his disciples his promise that “I am with you always” (v. 20). Don’t you feel in this promise his intimacy, his fellowship, his compassion and mercy, and his eternal and abundant love for us? Certainly, Jesus also wants us to share this peaceful and loving relationship with people living around us.
Trinity is about a God of fellowship. Does God only choose a certain group of people for his fellowship? No, God always invites and reaches out to all kinds of people to offer his fellowship. Who are our neighbors? How do they look? What do they do for their living? What kind of culture do they have? Whatever it is, let us share our genuine and divine fellowship as we honor, respect, and bless them. Amen.