Trinity Sunday – “Always Present” (7 June 2020): Order of Service

Armadale UCA

7th June 2020

In traditional Australian Aboriginal art, the symbol for “person” is the horse-shoe shape seen above. Therefore, for this Aboriginal Christian artwork, the Trinity (God) is depicted as three “person” symbols united into one single fluid shape.
Matt Stone blog

`Always present`

Trinity Sunday
Rev Fiona Winn

As a way into the theme and ideas for Sunday`s readings and reflection, listen to a version of The Breastplate of St. Patrick sung by Rita Connolly

`I arise today` (Shaun Davey)

I arise today through the strength of heaven
Light of sun, radiance of moon
Splendour of fire, speed of lightning
Swiftness of wind, depth of the sea
Stability of earth, firmness of rock

I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me
God’s eye to look before me
God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s way to lie before me
God’s shield to protect me

From all who shall wish me ill
Afar and a-near
Alone and in a multitude
Against every cruel, merciless power
That may oppose my body and soul

Christ with me, Christ before me
Christ behind me, Christ in me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me

I arise today

Welcome and Grace

Opening Scripture

`Moses said to God `Suppose I go to the Israelites
and say to them,
`The Lord, the God of your fathers has sent me…
and they ask `What is his name?`
Then what shall I tell them?`
God said to Moses, `I am who I am.
This is what you are to say to the Israelites:
`I am has sent me to you`.
Exodus 3: 13, 14

Hymn 132 `Holy, holy, holy `
(two different versions)

Holy, holy, holy (Heber)

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee

Holy, holy, holy!
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!
Though the darkness hide thee
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see
Only Thou art holy
There is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty
All thy works shall praise Thy name
In earth and sky and sea

Holy, holy, holy!
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity
Oh God in three persons
Blessed Trinity!



Genesis 1: 1-2: 4a; Ps. 8: Matthew 28: 16-20

Genesis 1: 1- 2: 4 – Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind[c] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Psalm 8
Divine Majesty and Human Dignity
A Psalm of David.

Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Matthew 28: 16-20
The Commissioning of the Disciples

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflection for Trinity Sunday 2020`Always present`

To talk about God is so difficult – how can human beings, created creatures, speak in any meaningful, authentic and authoritative way about a transcendent, mysterious, inscrutable (B)being?

The opening scripture sentences for our service today, Exodus 3: 13, 14, contain the astonishing self-revelation of God to Moses – the tetragrammaton – JHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah – a Word, a Name, so holy, sacred, special, it remains unsaid in the reading of the scriptures. This word is not read out in synagogues in order to avoid saying the divine Name, for fear of misusing it and breaking the third commandment. What a contrast with the casual, everyday blasphemy afforded in our society by the thoughtless – reckless? – evocation of the name of God!

Was this part of the outrage at the actions of the President of the United States of America this week? Was it a kind of blasphemy? Was it as I`ve read it suggested this week, a kind of `theological malpractice`? (Why have I not heard this phrase before?)

We need to be careful around and with the name of God – when we speak of God, when say anything about God. We are to remember the One whose name we utter and need therefore to be reverent and respectful around this name and our speaking it. It is a name to wonder at and not to treat lightly.

In this day and age – given there are many who say many things about God – what can we, as Christians, say about God? According to the distinguished German theologian, Jurgen Moltmann, the only way we can say anything about God is because of Jesus Christ: Jesus` life, death and resurrection, and the coming of His Spirit, is the key to God, to understanding God, God`s nature and God`s ways in, through and for creation, in, through and for our lives, in through and for these testing times.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a way to understand what is for human minds incomprehensible; that is – the majesty and mystery of God. Our human minds are simply too small. The doctrine of the Trinity helps us articulate and affirm the character and nature of God and God`s dealings with all creation.

The Trinity is a `security doctrine` (Emil Brunner, a distinguished Swiss theologian), a doctrine to protect the majesty and glory of God from our simplistic conjectures. However difficult , it is a way of holding everything we might say about God together.

We can say nothing more truly about God than this: that God is One God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity is the – not a – distinctive and authentic Christian expression of God.

Such an affirmation, ascription and declaration are necessary when we are surrounded by multiple claims and counter claims about the nature and character of God.

And there are many such claims swirling around us today. I believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is a safeguard against erroneous and potentially disastrous theologies – a safeguard against `theological malpractice` and its inherent dangers…

There are many who claim their God and their consequent actions and decisions as Christian. Beware! Power disguised and wrapped in God language is not the Word of life or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is blasphemy.

How to have the confidence and clarity, the humility and meekness, the strength and the courage to speak of God meaningfully, authentically, authoritatively without being authoritarian?

It is to be enthralled and captivated by a vision of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the great `I am`, God forever in ecstatic relationship within God`s self, forever present, in relationship with creation and humanity – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said `I am…` To Him be all power and glory world without end. Amen.

Hymn to the Trinity (Tchaikovsky)
(words and music are here  )

Leicester University Chamber Choir

Prayer and the Lord`s Prayer

Hymn 478 `I bind unto myself this day

1.I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

2. I bind this day to me forever
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation
his baptism in the Jordan river
his death on Cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

3. I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet ‘Well done’ in judgement hour;
the service of the seraphim.
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
the Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

4. I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

5. I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
God’s ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
the heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

6. I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, the One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
salvation is of Christ the Lord!


The blessing of the triune God,
the love of the Father, the courage of the Son,
the joy and hope of the Holy Spirit
be with you today and always. Amen