Excerpts from Pastor Cheryl Hoffman's sermon for Holy Trinity Sunday, May 30th.
It’s Holy Trinity Sunday – the Sunday that we preachers are supposed to explain the theology of our belief in three persons yet one God, separate, yet equal, one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity – three in one and one and three.
Everyone got it? No?
Well, that is not surprising. If you listened to the readings today, you know that even the lectionary gurus had trouble coming up with texts that incorporate all parts of the Trinity, let alone explain it. The festival of the Holy Trinity is the one Sunday that pastors are left scrambling for some clever image or metaphor to help their sheep understand this, quite frankly, not fully understandable, piece of theology. There are some things in life that are a mystery and should remain a mystery. The Holy Trinity is one of them.
But this doesn’t help with today’s sermon. I still have to teach or preach about something, or I wouldn’t be doing my job and you would be greatly disappointed. I want to give David Lose, the former president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia credit for setting me on the path that the remainder of this sermon wanders.
The path that I’d like to wander today is the path of curiosity. Our guide is going to be Nicodemus. Most confirmed church goers know Nicodemus from the story that we heard this morning. Depending on the past sermons you have heard, you may think of Nicodemus as a coward – coming to Jesus at night lest his Pharisee friends take issue with the company he keeps. Or maybe you think Nicodemus to be somewhat foolish taking Jesus’ words literally - asking how one can reenter a mother’s womb and be born again? Or maybe you never heard a sermon in which Nicodemus was the key subject before and so you don’t have an opinion one way or another. Admittedly, I think this will be my first stroll with Nicodemus.