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Year B, Trinity Sunday, 2018 – All in the Family

May 24, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Trinity

Greetings!! It’s Trinity Sunday this week! This is the day when many preachers think about breaking out theological terms to describe the mystery of God as Three in One. If you are looking for deep theological journeys into obscure reaches of complexity — you will not find it here. We are not offering any specific insight into the theology of the day; rather, we are concentrating on the texts that have been selected, looking to glean insight into God’s character from them. Isaiah has a vision of God the Creator filling the temple as seraphim sing praises. Paul encourages the Romans to consider their lives as children of God, adopted by the power of the Spirit. Jesus and Nicodemus discuss God’s great love for creation and how that creation will be redeemed through the Son. The passages reveal God keeping relationship with Godself, creation, and us – keeping it all in the family. We have some ideas you can use to bring out particular smarts in each passage that illuminate Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. So get your multiple intelligence hat on, and join us as we explore the selections for this Sunday.


This week’s texts are:

Isaiah 6:1-8 [01:59]

Most prophets and pastors begin their ministries with a vision of God’s call. I wonder how many of us began with a seraph burning our lips with charcoal? Not me! On the day of King Uzziah’s death, Isaiah is in the temple where he receives a vision of God on the throne with smoke and the train of his robe filling the sanctuary. Heavenly beings voice praise in such a way that the room’s support beams shake. For a WORD smart special effect, make use of that auditory drama with a big bass drum! For an EYE smart special effect, try replicating one of those old OxyClean commercials. We have some suggestions for MUSIC smart that could be very effective in bringing your congregation into a contemplative place. We think the hot coal was a method of purification and recommend trying out some of the experiments we have listed in NATURE smart! And finally, we suppose Isaiah laments his unclean lips and unclean people because of dishonesty; we have a link to a study in PEOPLE smart that has some NATURE and BODY connections.


Romans 8:12-17 [12:22]

We’ve pulled material out of this passage twice before; see the links below for those shows. We think this passage was included in the Trinity Sunday readings because it presents images of God’s three Persons, which we think you could illustrate and demonstrate in EYE smart using string art. Much MUSIC has been generated based on these verses, and we have three pieces you might consider. Paul tells the Romans they are not to fall back into a spirit of slavery but consider themselves adopted by God through Jesus Christ. In SELF smart, we have a discussion about how a spirit of slavery may manifest itself.

Year C Pentecost – Romans 8:14-17

Year A Ordinary 16 – Romans 8:12-25


John 3:1-17 [21:13]

We begin this very familiar passage with a recommendation for the reading of it; try a translation that you’ve never used before. We have a couple suggestions for WORD smart. If you did not try the string art for Romans 8, you can give it a go for EYE smart here – it works in either place. Jesus seems a little exasperated with Nicodemus’ lack of understanding. If he cannot be convinced of Jesus’ truth by earthly signs, how on earth will he be able to comprehend heavenly things? We have a link to a blog post and a study in MATH smart that suggest you may be able to convince someone of something if you approach the task with the humility to admit you may be wrong. There are some PEOPLE smart elements in this illustration, as well. In BODY smart, remind your folks what it feels like to fly a kite or deal with the wind currents. Sticking with currents, for NATURE smart, bring in an oscillating fan and demonstrate the difference between a known, predictable flow of air and the movement of the Spirit. And finally, in SELF smart, we have some questions to ponder about what it takes to change your mind.

Year A Lent 2 – 3:1-17

Year B Lent 4 – 3:14-21


Image Credit: Copyright: bernardojbp / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.



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