On the festival of the Holy Trinity, we celebrate the mystery that the One eternal, undivided God exists in three divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three Persons are each fully and eternally God, but there is still only one God. This is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery beyond human comprehension. Although we cannot fully understand it, we can rejoice that the doctrine of the Trinity reveals the depth and glory of God’s never-ending love.
The Day of Pentecost celebrates the birthday of the church, and marks the coming of the Holy Spirit to all believers. In this sermon, Pastor Paige unpacks Jesus’ promise to the disciples in John 14:8-17 & 25-27. They were worried and wondering what to do after Jesus’ death and resurrection took place. Jesus assures them that they won’t be alone after he returns to his Heavenly Father. He promises that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will come and be with them as they carry Jesus’ mission forward.
You may have heard the news that life expectancy in the United States is decreasing because of what have been termed “deaths of despair:” opioid overdoses and suicides. Our culture is living a story of isolation and hopelessness. In today’s Gospel reading (John 19:20-26), we hear Jesus’ prayer to his Father to make his followers into a people of unity and hope so that the world can know his presence. This unity is much deeper than simply getting along. It is the gift and work of God in us, for the sake of the world.
In John’s Gospel, the miracles of Jesus are called “signs.” They are physical events that point to spiritual realities. They tell us about who Jesus is, and who we are. In today’s Gospel (John 5:1-9), we are in the place of a paralyzed man. He can’t walk; he can’t live the life he was designed to live. His physical condition is our spiritual condition. We were designed for a life of faith and love, a life of joy and peace, a life full of freedom and power. But we can’t do it. The reality of sin paralyzes our hearts and souls. Without a new strength, we are unable to walk the road we were created to walk. But Jesus rewrites our story of weakness into a story of strength and power. Listen, and be left with the challenge: do you want to be made well?
During the Last Supper, shortly before Jesus goes to the cross, he gives his disciples a “new commandment” that will guide them for the rest of their lives. Even when the disciples didn’t make it easy to love them, Jesus fought for their love. Pastor Paige asks listeners to think about how they fulfill Jesus’ command from John 13:31-35 to “love one another,” and how they fight for love in their own lives.