SERMON TITLE: “A Divine Triangle of Love”
SERMON TEXT: John 3:1-16
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: June 3, 2018, at First UMC
This afternoon, I’m going to a special worship service at Trinity Presbyterian Church, northeast of Harrison and 2nd Street. The purpose of the special service is the ordination of their associate minister, Catherine Tobey. United Methodist clergy are ordained at annual conferences, like the one we’re going to have here in Ogden later this week. That’s great for involving lots of United Methodists from all over the conference. But Presbyterian clergy are ordained in the local church where they are serving, which allows more people from their local community to be there for the big occasion.
It’s appropriate that I’m going to Trinity Presbyterian today because the Trinity is what I want to speak with you about today. The reason so many churches, like our own Trinity United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City, have that word in their name is because the doctrine of the Trinity is important to us as Christians. Our Trinitarian beliefs were worked out at major council meetings in the early centuries of the church, and this doctrine is reinforced by our creeds and hymns. The traditional Christian calendar also names a Sunday after Pentecost as Trinity Sunday—and thus encourages us to devote some time and thought to this mysterious and difficult-to-understand nature of God.
To help us contemplate this abstract subject, we have on the bulletin cover a triangle-circle symbol* which is sometimes used to depict the Trinity. Other times, you will see three interlocking circles, a trinity knot, or just a simple triangle. St. Patrick used the three-leaf clover to explain the doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish. What all those symbols have in common is that they show three parts or aspects of one thing. No symbol will ever perfectly describe such a holy mystery. But, this morning—with the help of John chapter three—I want to propose to you that the Trinity is like a divine triangle of love.