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|Hey iTrust! 3 June 2012|
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday (3 June 2012).
Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian dogma of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One way we do that is by confessing together the rather long Athanasian Creed.
In the early Church, no special Office or day was assigned for the Holy Trinity. When the Arian heresy was spreading, the Fathers prepared an Office with canticles, responses, a Preface, and hymns, to be recited on Sundays. Here’s your quiz for the week: What is the Arian heresy? And where do we still see it today?
We finished Chariots of Fire, and now we move on, as promised, to “Is the Bible Reliable? – Building the Historical Case.” Get your questions ready! Dr. Dale Brant is joining us, adding commentary along the way.
Our objective is to answer the question: Is the Bible a book of myths and fairy tales, or is it a book of history and truth? We will do a thorough overview of major archaeological and historical discoveries that demonstrate the historical reliability of the Bible. The material presented in the ten lessons (approximately 25 minutes each) will help you to respond to critical arguments against the historicity of the Bible with solid evidence, and gain a better understanding of the geography, culture, and history of events in the Bible.
Here are the Scripture readings (lectionary) for this coming week, plus the summary note of how they tie together. We always encourage you to read the weekly Scriptures before you get to church. We think you’ll find that valuable!
First Lesson – Isaiah 6:1 –8
Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Second Lesson – Acts 2: 14a, 22–36
Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Gospel Lesson – John 3:1 –17
You Must Be Born Again
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
The Glory of the Lord of Hosts Shines in Mercy, Forgiveness, and Salvation
When Isaiah “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,” he cried out and confessed that he was “a man of unclean lips.” If even the holy angels cover their faces in the presence of “the King, the Lord of hosts,” how can sinful humans stand before Him? (Is. 6:1–5) Yet, the glory of the Lord is saving grace, and with “a burning coal” from the altar the angel touched Isaiah’s lips, removing his guilt (Is 6:6–7). Likewise, from the altar of Christ’s Cross, by the ministry of the Gospel, “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Is 6:3). For He was crucified, died and was buried, “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,” and God “raised Him up, loosing the pangs of death” (Acts 2:23 –24). He “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:32 ) and He raises up the fallen world by pouring out His life-giving Spirit upon sinners through His earthly means of grace. To give this saving Gift God sent His Son into the world, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 –17).
See you in iTrust!