Every Monday I share a few tidbits, nuggets, or ideas for incorporating some stewardship themes in your preaching this week based on the appointed readings by the Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary. Here are some stewardship nuggets for Holy Trinity Sunday.
Sunday June 11, 2017: Revised Common Lectionary- The Holy Trinity A
First Lesson: Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Gospel of Matthew 28:16-20
It’s Holy Trinity Sunday. My only advice, please don’t try and explain the Holy Trinity. That hardly ever works, and more times than not likely leads to theological problems (or heresy). If you lift it up as an example of God’s mysteries, I think you’ll probably be in good shape.
For thinking about stewardship, I would lean into the (first) creation story in Genesis, which is the first lesson. The lectionary often has a way of providing lessons which take on new (and sometimes unexpected) timely relevance, and this seems to be particularly timely given all of the discussion and politics related to climate change.
I’ll be frank. To think that it is not happening is to deny reality. It is to deny the falling of the ice shelves from Antarctica. It is to deny the shrinking of the glaciers at Glacier National Park. It is to deny the rising average temperature around the globe, and related rise of ocean levels. It is to deny the community of Shishmaref, Alaska who is facing all of these dynamics as it tries to continue to survive.
When God creates, God creates humankind in God’s image. When God entrusts creation to the care of humankind, there is an understanding of responsibility. We are responsible to steward God’s creation. To deny this, is to deny the very fact that God created us good (not perfect), but with purpose in relationship to creation.
For all of the stress this might cause, it is a timely stewardship reflection, acknowledging that we believe and praise the Triune God who is at work in the world, for us and through us, and sometimes even, in spite of us. Psalm 8 offers a good reminder of this relationship that we have with God and God has with creation. It is a psalm of praise, and an important reminder of the awe that is possible with God.
In the Great Commission in Matthew, God in Christ reminds that “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). We are also called to “baptize and teach.” This is God’s work, which we are all a part of. How we steward our lives, is a response to this call from God.
How are we being called today to steward God’s calls in our lives? How are we living out the Great Commission? How are we caring for creation? And where might the Triune God be working, leading, or calling us to now or next?
Sunday June 11, 2017: Narrative Lectionary- The Holy Trinity Sunday
Narrative Theme for the Day: “Psalm 100” (the beginning of a 5-week Psalm series)
Focus Passages: Psalm 100
Gospel Verse: John 1:14-17
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing” (Ps 100:1-2). On this Holy Trinity Sunday, what better thing could we do than to give thanks and praise to and for the Triune God?
This could be a golden opportunity with this psalm or hymn of praise to think about how we give praise to God, and respond to God’s gifts and promises with joy? If that is the direction you feel called to preach, what a golden and important stewardship sermon.
In thinking about the gospel passage, this portion we often hear on Christmas Day is a helpful reminder of the relationships of the three persons of the Triune God. Within the community that is God, we find grace and truth. These are gifts and promises. How do we live and respond to these?
“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Ps 100:5). This is a reminder of God’s promise to Abraham, but also God’s promise of relationship with God’s creation and God’s children. As you are journeying through the Narrative, today marks the beginning of the summer series, and in particular this five-week look and series on the Psalms and their different expressions and types.
What might the Psalms have to say to us in our current day and time? How might saying or singing them, take on new meaning in today’s context? What does our praise and joyful response look like, sound like, and feel like?
Blessings on your preaching, teaching, and leading friends! -TS
Image Credits: The Holy Trinity and “Fallen House in Shismaref.”
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