The Dance of the Trinity
I had heard it was an awesome site. I had seen pictures of it. I even saw it once on a video. But when I saw it for myself, I was blown away. I was standing on the southern edge of the Grand Canyon. Before me was the deepest gorge I had ever seen. It was miles to the northern edge. The intricate different colors of different layers of rock were truly awesome to behold. And very subtly the colors gradually changed as the sun moved across the sky. I took picture after picture, but still I was being encountered by an action of God that began millions of years ago and was still being formed. It was beyond being captured by a photo or even description.
At first all I could do was stand there and try to absorb the vista before me. Then an overwhelming sense of being a sinner amid a world of sinners came over me.
But then a second thought came to mind. I am a redeemed sinner, loved, and saved by God. Then another thought came to mind. The creator of the Grand Canyon also created me and calls me his child.
Isaiah had a similar moment in the temple. It was the year the great king Uzziah died. The country was wondering what things would be like now that his son Jotham was king. While wondering about the uncertainties of life he encountered the living God who was so beyond his comprehension that he could only say the hem of the robe of God filled the temple. There were celestial beings flying in the air above the altar shouting; Holy; Holy; Holy. The very foundations of the temple shook, and smoke filled the air. Isaiah filled with a sense of awe, and unworthiness cried; “Woe am I for I am a man of unclean lips living in the land of people with unclean lips. Yet I have seen God!”
One of the celestial creatures took a pair of tongs and took a living coal from a brazier on the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips saying, “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed, and your sin is blotted out.”
What about you? When have you ever experienced such a moment? You just knew we’re being encountered by the living God. You also had a sense of your own unworthiness.
The night that I met Ann for the first time. It was a blind date. I had worked that evening as a soda jerk at Bloom’s Drug Store. My shirt was crumpled, and I had some chocolate on my pants. I felt totally unworthy to meet this beautiful, distinguished woman.
There is something else that can come with that sense of unworthiness. Ann, whose first name is Grace, lived up to her name. She was gracious and soon I was so comfortable that we were telling each other jokes. I knew at that moment I was in love with this woman of amazing grace and hoped one day to marry her. Three years later we were married. On June 12th we will have been married 55 years.
As a redeemed sinner it is hoped that you will also experience moments of God’s grace. It is the practice of the Lutheran Church to have a prayer of confession at the beginning of every worship to cleanse our spirit. We start out admitting that we have sinned against God and our neighbor in thought word and deed. It is possible to come to worship weighed down with guilt, emptiness, and frustration over the last week. One person admitted to me once last a whole week was an experience of being a day late and a dollar short all week.
So, when public confession happens you are really into it. Then comes the declaration of grace. These are some of the most awesome words I am called and empowered to say. “As a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ I declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
There is something transformative about an encounter with God. Not only do you realize how little you know and how sin-riddled your life is, but you are also cleansed of your sin and can start over, even to live life in a new way.
In Isaiah’s case, God was looking for a spokesperson to speak to his people. When the call came Isaiah immediately said; “Send me!”
Each of us is called and empowered to be servants of God. Our first call is to represent Christ and do your best to make and grow disciples of Christ, starting with yourself.
But I also believe that God has created each of us as a unique person with special talents and abilities only you have. I also believe as we age and mature different skills and abilities surface.
So, my question to each of us today; what is God calling you to be or to do?
Is there someone you know who is grieving who needs someone just to listen to them? Are you that person?
Is there an issue that your community is facing that you have some ideas on how to face such an issue? Perhaps the Lord is empowering you to give your two cents’ worth.
Where you work what is the atmosphere? Do you see things that need to be addressed? Is it time to go to your boss or supervisor and humbly share your ideas?
Is there some habit or condition you need to change? Through the gift of forgiveness God is empowering you to change.
When encountered directly by God and the glory of the dance called Trinity God faces each of us and we are inspired to seek forgiveness, experience newness of life. What is God doing right now in your spirit and mine? Let’s stop and give it a listen. Amen