Trinity Sunday 07 June 2020 A.D. Holy Communion

Trinity Sunday                        07 June 2020 A.D.                  Holy Communion

                  The Epistle. Revelation 4:1-11              The Gospel. John 3:1-15

                             ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy                                                    servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the                                           glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to                                       worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us                                                  stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities,                                              who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. 

                               You Must Be Born Again 
THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
  Even though Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, so others would not see such an important figure coming to visit this carpenter, Jesus still puts the truth to him. Nicodemus is crediting Jesus with being from God, by the signs and wonders, the miracles that Jesus had being doing with the people. Jesus turns this back on Nicodemus by saying that if he wasn’t born again, he would not see this God or his kingdom.

Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. 
Nicodemus saith unto him, 
Nicodemus immediately questions Jesus, which is an aspect of Nicodemus’ training:  How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?   He is seeing this purely from a physical way, even after having acknowledged that Jesus was from God.  So Jesus will clarify what he means, even using a physical example to show Nicodemus why he shouldn’t be amazed.
Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
It appears that Nicodemus is being totally dense, but from the spiritual and historical aspect of this encounter, it is us who are being instructed.  Nicodemus is taking the fall, but Jesus is pointing to us, the sophisticated reader, that we don’t understand either. In matters of the spiritual nature, we can sometimes be so obtuse. We try to reason our way out of what we don’t understand or worse than that, we try to dismiss what we don’t understand.  Be very certain, God will not be played. He is Holy, we are not, He sent a Savior, His only begotten Son, who died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again that glorious First Day, this point is made clear soon enough in this passage from the third chapter of John.

Jesus answered and said unto him, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” 
 Jesus chides Nicodemus [and us] for his/our unbelief.  He essentially tell Nicodemus that because he is from heaven and has seen what is in heaven, Nicodemus should believe him.  Let us look at a portion of our Epistle reading today and see how this comes into context. (Rev. 4:8-11)  Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.  How do we know this is a reference to Jesus Christ?{ Read John 1:1-18}. In that passage the Apostle John certifies who Jesus Christ is, was, and will become.    “.... which was, and is, and is to come...”  In other words Eternal.
 Then he puts the last detail into focus, that he, Jesus, like the image of the serpent that Moses lifted in the wilderness to save those who had been bitten by serpents; would save those who believed when He was raised up on the cross when the time came.   Jesus is foreshadowing his death, but also explaining why his death is necessary.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whoso ever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
 The very next verse encapsulates the whole Gospel, John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 So beloved, what do you not understand about the Gospel?  As plain as day Jesus Christ reveals the full measure of the Gospel.  As we have just heard in John 3:16.  And now just to make certain we understand what Jesus was pointing to: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.  John 3:17-21

Let us pray:
O LORD Jesus Christ, who didst say to thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; Regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church, and grant it that peace and unity which is agreeable to thy will; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

O GOD, who in thy providence hast appointed to every man his work; Remove, we humbly beseech thee, from those who are now at variance, all spirit of strife and all occasion of bitterness, that, seeking only what is just and equal, they may live and work together in brotherly union and concord, to their own well-being, and the prosperity of their country; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O HEAVENLY Father in whom we live and move and have our being; We humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our daily life we may never forget thee, but remember that we are ever walking in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.      Amen.