How can we tell it’s God in the gospel? There are fewer incidents of fire and cloud there. Look for the sacrifice! Not the animal sacrifice offered in the Temple, but the divine one evident everywhere. Christ emptied himself of divine privileges and took on flesh. Jesus turned from the temptations of wealth and power, and chose service. The King of Kings cast his lot among the poor and ignorant. What might easily have been the golden touch was used to heal lepers. Instead of a career, Jesus had a brief ministry. Sacrifice was spelled out in the silhouette of a cross on a hillside.
The signs of sacrifice are fewer in the world these days, though crosses abound on buildings and dangle from the end of chains. If we want people to believe we come in the name of God, we’ll have to produce the sacrifice.
What sacrifices have you made in the name of Christ?
Celebrate the Trinity by creating something in honour of the Source of all creation; sacrificing something in the name of Jesus; and contemplating the Holy Presence in prayer.
The Scripture (John 3: 16-17) Jesus and Nicodemus
Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. God sent the Only Begotten into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten the world might be saved.
Once when Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous Polish composer and pianist, was scheduled to play at a grand society event in the United States, a very unexpected incident took place. One of the stage hands had brought his young son to work with him and as he waited for his father in the wings, the boy grew bored. He was drawn to the great shiny piano on the stage. He sat down at the piano and began playing ‘Chopsticks’.
There was quite an uproar from the surprised audience. When Paderewski heard the commotion he rushed on stage and, reaching around from behind the boy, he began to improvise a countermelody to ‘Chopsticks’. As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear, ‘Keep going. Don’t quit, son … don’t stop … don’t stop’.
On this celebration of the Trinity we hear Jesus tell his followers, ‘For God so loved the world that God gave us Jesus, so that everyone who believes in God may not perish but may have eternal life’.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Jesus is trying to remind all of us that God engages with us and plays a counterpoint to the chopsticks that we play. Fumbling as our rendition of ‘Chopsticks’ may be, God is reaching around from behind us and turning our lives into marvellous melodies.
Go from this place in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Bring comfort to the sorrowing; strengthen the fainthearted; bring direction to the lost; hear the deepest feelings of the depressed; find the security of family; rejoice in your friendships; participate in community; believe you can change a small part of the world; work faithfully always.
In the strength of the Spirit, nothing is impossible! Go in peace! Amen.
GPBS © (2023)