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From the pastor's pen


June 7, 2018

There’s a hymn we sang at church last week called, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” The lyrics were written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826), who was an English vicar, poet, hymn writer, and a missionary. The hymn features the line, “…Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three persons, blessed trinity…”

We celebrate the three persons of God – traditionally known as Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Spirit (Sustainer). They are equal to one another and yet each has a different role to play.

God the Creator made the world and everything in it. Jesus the Sustainer taught us how to live and served as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. The Sustainer, the Holy Spirit, gave birth to the Christian Church and gives us life and direction today.

This idea can be difficult to grasp. Three parts of God – different and yet equal.

Caricature artists set up their easels in public places and draw pictures of people who are willing to pay a modest price for a humorous image of themselves. Their drawings amuse us because they exaggerate one or more of our physical features in a way that is recognizable but funny.

Caricatures of God, on the other hand, are not funny. Exaggerating one of God’s attributes presents a distorted view that people easily dismiss. Like a caricature, a distorted view of God is not taken seriously. For example, those who see God portrayed only as an angry and demanding judge are easily lured away by someone who emphasizes mercy. Those who see God as a kind-hearted grandfather will reject that image when they need justice.

The role of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are different and yet they are the same in power, love and purity. If you want to know God, watch the Son. You can’t get any closer to the source. As we put our faith into action, we have an opportunity to avoid portraying God as having only our favorite attributes. We must worship all of God, not just what we like.

Because we believe in a Trinitarian God, we cannot believe in a God that is distant, aloof or apart from us. We have a God that created us, that came as one of us and knows what it means to be human. We have a God that is with us always, until the end of the age. With the greatest of hope!


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