Isaiah 6:1-8; Acts 2:14a,22-36; John 3:1-17

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

How can you describe something that has no comparison? How can we teach that which we don’t understand? How can we know God when he is beyond our comprehension? This is the great difficulty this week. This Sunday, we celebrate Holy Trinity Sunday where we focus on God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As much as we wish we could say, “This is exactly who God is”, we realize that’s impossible. For God doesn’t fit in a box no matter how hard we try.

This means that whenever we talk about God, we grasp only a part, a fraction, of who He is. For the Church has learned to speak in two different ways. We talk about who God is in his essence (almighty, eternal, omnipotent, etc.) and what God does (Creator, Savior, Sanctifier). While these two ways have yielded plenty of ink through the centuries, they still leave unanswered questions.

This is the same issue that manifests in the conversation in our Gospel reading this week. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be “born again”. Nicodemus however, doesn’t understand. He’s confused because he’s thinking in an earthly mindset with heavenly wisdom. As Jesus says, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” John 3:12. There are many things which we will never understand because they’re beyond our comprehension.

The issue isn’t just because we’re limited in our comprehension. The issue is that we’re limited by our sin. Our struggle with knowing God comes from our distance from God. Our sin has built a wall between us so that the most we can possibly see is a glimpse. Throughout the Old Testament, Jews knew well this truth. Man cannot see God and live, as Isaiah echoes, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5. When man comes into the presence of a holy God, it spells trouble for man.

This is part of the mystery of this Sunday. God is Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three gods, but one God. God sent his Son into the world to make known himself to us! “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man… For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:13, 16. God breaks through the wall of our sin by sending Jesus to us, by being present with us in flesh and blood. By Jesus coming into our world, we have been given the new birth in the Spirit. The Spirit works in us faith to believe in Jesus; and through that faith in Jesus, we are one with the Father. While we may not know everything about God, this we do know. That God has sent his Son, and given the Holy Spirit, that we might be one with God and have eternal life! Holy is the Lord God who gives to us eternal life: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Pastor Sorenson


Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen!