Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bishop’s Note: May 27th, 2015 - Feast of The Holy Trinity

Bishop Eric Menees

“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee:
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

Chances are pretty good that, this Sunday, you will sing this hymn in worship.  This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, when we worship our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; celebrating the diversity and the unity of God!

This past week I had the pleasure of joining the graduating class at Nashotah House Theological Seminary for their Graduation & Festal Eucharist.  The services were held at St. Jerome’s Church, which could comfortably seat the large crowd that had come to worship and witness this wonderful event.  

The beauty of the stained glass window behind the altar struck me. The window almost ran floor to ceiling, and must have been fifty feet high.  It was made in two large panels.  The bottom panel was of the Resurrected Christ, as we picture him in the Upper Room when he first appeared to the disciples on that Easter Sunday.  You could almost hear the words come from the mouth of Jesus: “Peace be with you.”  

The top panel was of God the Father, seated in his majestic throne. God’s face was that of a very proud Abba, with a twinkle in his eye that seemed to portray both great satisfaction and peace, as if no matter what evil may befall creation he’s got it covered.  Perhaps that is because in between the two panels was a beautiful dove, obviously representing the Holy Spirit.  What caught my attention was the fact that the hands of the Father and the hands of the Son both appeared to have released the Holy Spirit.  It was a joyous vision of the perfect diversity and unity of the Holy Trinity.

I cannot tell you that I fully understand our One God in Three Persons, but I can say this – I know He IS One and Three, and I rejoice in God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!  The hymn says it so much better than I ever could:

“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

I pray you all a truly blessed Trinity Sunday!

Catechism Questions 115 - 117

115.    What is expected of you when you have shared in Holy Communion?
Having been renewed in my union with Christ and his people through sharing in the Supper, I should continue to live in holiness, avoiding sin, showing love and forgiveness to all, and serving others in gratitude.

116.    Are there other sacraments?
Other rites and institutions commonly called sacraments include confirmation, absolution, ordination, marriage, and anointing of the sick. These are sometimes called the sacraments of the Church.

117.    How do these differ from the sacraments of the Gospel?

They are not commanded by Christ as necessary for salvation, but arise from the practice of the apostles and the early Church, or are states of life blessed by God from creation. God clearly uses them as means of grace.

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