Notes on the Service...
...for May 31, 2015, the First Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday
Isa 6:1-8; Ps 29 or Benedictus es; Rom 8:12-17; Jn 3:1-16
This is the first Sunday of ordinary time, when the special features of the Easter liturgy have been discontinued, and the routine service resumes through the summer and autumn. Heretofore the seasons of Advent through Ascension have marked Christ's appearing on earth through his returning to eternity. The church over centuries came to realize that those events could not be explained adequately by any account except that God's nature is triune. Thus, as if it were a coda on the calendar, Trinity Sunday interprets the saving events of Advent through Pentecost. Today's collect, from the late middle ages, asks that we be kept in our Trinitarian faith, so that eventually we may see God more clearly than even Isaiah did.
The vision of Isaiah is a classic encounter between a mortal and Divinity. Such meetings with the Numinous are foundations of religions, when in the presence of the Absolutely Other, the awestruck worshiper is undone. Isaiah was a priest in Solomon's temple; the year that King Uzziah died was 742 B.C. A seraph is a griffin-like creature of Near Eastern myths. Even such unearthly beings dare not look at the Holy One; nor dare address Him. Instead, covered, they cry to each other, thrice Holy. In Hebrew, the superlative is expressed by repetition, hence "Holy, Holy, Holy" means maximum Holiest, not three holy ones. The unholy worshiper is so profane that his lips require cauterizing to speak. The church adopted the seraphim's hymn as the Sanctus in the Eucharist, and it was set to music by hosts of composers.
Like the Sanctus, Psalm 29, a most ancient hymn, attempts to echo the experience of the Holy in the temple, and in nature's storms.
By contrast, the epistle stresses the immanence of God's Spirit, who makes mortals his children, bearing witness within us.
The Bridge between the transcendent Creator of the universe and the Spirit within us is "he who descended from Heaven, the Son of man," as John calls Christ. When a learned Jewish rabbi questions him, Jesus declares that to understand this a person must be "born anew." Born anew here does not mean, Have an emotional experience of your guilt and reform your life. It means, those who are in the Spirit will get it; they will see that the Son is sent by the Father, and they will be spiritually remade as offspring of God.
"Lifting up the serpent" refers to the Sinai episode when Israelites bitten by snakes could be healed by gazing at a bronze serpent which Moses had affixed to a pole, an episode told this year on the 4th Sunday in Lent. John calls Jesus' crucifixion his "lifting up," to effect a parallel, a spiritual, healing.
- Please pray for the election of a Bishop.
- Episcopal Relief Fund is collecting to aid the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Please make checks payable to Church of the Redeemer with Nepal Relief in the Memo bar. We will send the funds to the National Church which they will then forward to the appropriate relief givers. Checks can be mailed to the church or placed into the collection plate.
- Father's Day Gift Table: Some of our ladies have suggested that we do a bit more for the men of our parish on Father's Day, so they suggest that we have a gift table of "guy things". If you would like to participate, bring an inexpensive gift suitable for dads starting today and continuing until Father's Day when they will be distributed. A list of suggested items will be posted in the Parish Hall. Any questions? Ask Tonya Davis or Linda Hanks.
- Father's Day Altar Flowers: If you would like to place flowers on the altar in honor of or in memory of important men in your life for Father's Day, June 21, please give your donation to Carolyn Pidgeon or Bill Smith. A sign up sheet will be in the Parish Hall starting today. There is a sign up poster in the Parish Hall for altar flowers for any Sunday. Your contribution may be given to Carolyn Pidgeon or Bill Smith.
- Refreshments Sign-Up Sheet: Volunteers are needed to supply refreshments after the 10:30 service during the summer months. The sign up sheet is in the Parish Hall.
- Bulletin Ministry: Please let Maryann Presnell or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
- PhoneTree Ministry: Please let the Bill Smith or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Phone Tree Ministry.
- Tuesday, May 26 – Book Club meets at home of Dennie Boethcher at 5:00 PM.
- Sunday, May 31 – Vestry meets at 11:45 AM
- Wednesday, June 3 - First Wednesday - Pot Luck Supper at 6 PM, Evensong at 7 PM.
- Saturday, June 6 – Bible Study at 10:30 AM
- Wednesday, June 10 – Daughters of the King meet at 6:00 PM
- Saturday, June 20 – ECW meets at 10:30 AM
- Sunday June 21 - Father's Day
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
|Sunday|| 8:15 AM
Choir Practice in the Church