Year A, Trinity Sunday, 2017 – Three In One
Greetings!! Here in the United States, we are just beginning to ease into the summer months which include the end of the academic year in schools, the beginning of summer travel, and Trinity Sunday. (I remember that was the day we always sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” in worship when I was a kid – most likely because the Trinity is explicitly mentioned in this hymn.) I know that when it comes to the Doctrine of the Trinity, most of us feel like we need to stretch and warm up our theological muscles a bit in order to take this truly complex idea about God and make it intelligible and palatable for our congregations. I’ve gone enthusiastically into the deep thick field of theological language and quotes from early thinkers and have not only watched eyes glaze and brows furrow but have found myself whacking a desperate path back out of the tall grass in order to end my sermon. We have some other ideas for presenting the Three in One nature of God this Sunday. I think the hula hoop is the best one! Listen to the podcast to find out why!
This week’s texts are:
Genesis 1:1-2:4a [01:59]
This passage is a smorgasbord for multiple intelligence; like a playground, a festival, simply chock full of opportunities to jump in and swim around. We have just skimmed the surface with what we have to offer. The entire passage is an exercise in WORD smart and we suggest finding ways of dividing the reading into interesting segments. You could use posters or your media equipment to show pictures of each day of creation for EYE smart; both visual and spatial elements are present in this story. You could have your congregation use sign language or interpretive movement for each day of creation using BODY smart. For MUSIC smart, try re-writing the story in rhyming couplets that then could be set to music – a favorite hymn or popular tune, for example. Bring in examples of each day of creation using NATURE smart (see the worksheet for some details about this!). For MATH smart, compare the sequence of creation presented in this poem with the cosmic calendar – there are points of contact! For PEOPLE smart, consider the internal conversation God has with Godself in verse 26 about the decision to create human beings and how. And in SELF smart, how does that creativity God has given us find expression in your life?
- Smarts – Word [02:25], Eye [07:11], Math [03:18], Body [04:54], Music [06:12], Nature [07:11], People [08:18], Self [10:00]
- Genesis 1 worksheet
- Links in Genesis
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 [10:25]
When I first read this passage – all three verses of Paul saying goodbye to the Corinthians – I was highly skeptical we would be able to find anything of use in it. Oh, silly me! Paul’s advice to the faithful to “put things in order” popped out at both of us; I found application for it in PEOPLE smart in literally putting things in order and David went down the MATH smart aisle and found a three legged stool which demonstrates the relationship of the Trinity in an unusual and compelling way. He also found that this illustration has a home in EYE, BODY, and NATURE smarts, as well. In each of them, the interconnected nature of the Trinity is at work. In EYE, we have a video clip of three guys negotiating directions in a popular movie from a few years ago. In BODY smart, we suggest using a rope or a hoola hoop to demonstrate the way the Trinity might move about with intention and cooperation. Our NATURE smart illustration doesn’t actually exist, but it is a fun way of exploring constraints. And in SELF smart, what would it be like to have all the saints greet you?
- Smarts – Word [11:28], Eye [15:01], Math [12:48], Body [16:02], Nature [18:26], People [18:56], Self [19:35]
- 2Corinthians 13 worksheet
- Links in 2 Corinthians
- WORD smart – Scour the internet (or click this link!) for effective advertising campaigns and analyze why they worked.
- EYE smart – Video clip from O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- MATH smart –
- NATURE smart – Is the constrained relationship of the Trinity a perhaps like a pushmi-pullyu?
Matthew 28:16-20 [20:11]
Again, we had only a few verses provided for fodder in the Gospel passage, and again, by poking around a bit we found some fun stuff! We both picked up on a translation issue we address in WORD smart, to wit; how does one properly translate the Greek word hoy in verse 17? In EYE smart, we both thought about the movement of making disciples. David started globally and moved to the local church while I went the opposite direction. Either way, you could really connect your congregation to their efforts at disciple making with this smart. I got to thinking about Jesus’ promise of constant presence and found some principles regarding constants in MATH smart. I also thought about a song I learned almost 20 years ago written by Jeff Pearson called “I Am With You Always”. You can find it in New Song: Musical Expressions for Youth Ministry. We had different parts of the passage pop out at us for PEOPLE smart. David was intrigued by Jesus’ statement about authority and I wondered about the location for meeting in Galilee. Finally, in SELF smart, we consider what it means to act in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Smarts – Word [20:49], Eye [22:37], Math [23:40], Music [23:59], People [26:05], Self [28:33]
- Matthew 28 worksheet
- Links in Matthew
- MATH smart – Jesus’ constant presence may be like
- PEOPLE smart –
Image Credit: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/498741.htm. Used by permission.