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Image: Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, Russia (Source: Unsplash)

Our theme verse for this ongoing time of pandemic is Romans 12.12-13:

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

On this Trinity Sunday, I want to draw out the Trinitarian structure of that verse with reference to some other passages from the New Testament.  

1.   Rejoice in hope  

The source and wellspring of our hope is the first person of the Trinity, God the Father:  

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead  1 Peter 1.3 (ESV)         

Note the echo of today’s Gospel story from John 3: born again. The hope that God gives us makes us a new creation, it allows us to walk in newness of life.

2.   Be patient in tribulation  

Where do we see the ultimate example and the eternal source of patience in suffering? In the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ Himself, who is fully God and fully human, who suffered and died as one of us.  

It was fitting that God [the Father], for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation [Jesus] perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2.10 NRSV)

Therefore, friends, in Christ, times of suffering and tribulation will not destroy us, but rather strengthen and refine us.  

3.   Be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.  

It is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who inspires us in prayer, generosity, hospitality - and ultimately in love, which binds all things together in harmony.  

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, (Jude 20-21)

So friends, I hope we can begin to see that far from being an abstract and irrelevant doctrine, the Trinity is the very reality in whom we live, move and have our being. God the Holy Trinity opens Himself to us and enfolds in the divine life to be our defense against all adversities.  

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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 this holy faith may evermore be our defence against all adversities; who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.


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