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Psalm 112
Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!  (ESV)
God and Creatures
Thursday After Holy Trinity
26 May 2016
As we contemplate the mystery of the holy Trinity, we are struck by the contradictory clash of things which the human mind thinks to be impossible. How can God be both three and one? How can He be one essence and three persons? This question is especially urgent when we are confronted with Islam, which presumes that we Christians are tritheists when we speak of the holy Trinity.
We are perturbed by Scripture's simple teaching in which God tells us who He is, not how He can be that way. Explanations of "how" are not God's strong suit. I suspect it is not only because we could not understand the "how," but that we would also not like the answer one bit. But we still seem to be willing to badger God with the question "how" with the same persistence with which a small child raises the question, "Are we there yet?" on a long road trip. God will not answer our demands. Yet God is capable of being what He says He is without our understanding how that is possible. And thank God for that!
Augustine of Hippo pointed out that we humans are not capable of digesting the answer to the questions raised by these deep mysteries. We are flesh and blood. We are not God. Perhaps our demand for explanations that God has not revealed to us in Scripture should teach us that we have broken the first commandment. We are restlessly attempting to dethrone God by knowing what He has not told us and seeing into what He has not revealed to us. Sometimes this means that the best and wisest answer to some questions is, "I don't know," or even "the answer is unknowable." By being ignorant where we face the unknowable, we let God be who He is and we remain what He makes us; His creatures.


Augustine of Hippo

"It is difficult to contemplate and fully know the substance of God, who fashions things changeable yet without any change in Himself, and creates things temporal yet without any temporal movement in Himself. It is necessary, therefore, to purge our minds, in order to be able to see ineffably that which is ineffable. Since we have not yet attained this, we are to be nourished by faith, and led by such ways as are more suited to our capacity, that we may be rendered apt and able to comprehend it. And hence the Apostle says, that 'in Christ indeed are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' (Col 2:3); and yet has commended Him to us, as to babes in Christ, who, although already born again by His grace, yet are still fleshly and physical, not by that divine virtue wherein He is equal to the Father, but by that human infirmity whereby He was crucified. For he says, 'I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified' (1Co 2:2-3); and then he continues, 'And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.' And a little after he says to them, 'But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready' (1Co 3:1-2).
"There are some who are angry at language of this kind, and think it insults them. For the most part they prefer rather to believe that those who so speak to them have nothing to say, other than that they themselves cannot understand what they have said. And sometimes, indeed, we do declare to them, not certainly an account which answers what they seek in their inquiries about God-because neither can they themselves receive it, nor can we perhaps either apprehend or express it. But we give such an answer to demonstrate to them how incapable and utterly unfit they are to understand that which they demanded of us. But they, on their parts, because they do not hear what they desire, think that we are either telling them lies in order to conceal our own ignorance, or speaking in malice because we grudge them knowledge; and so go away indignant and perturbed." 

Augustine, On the Trinity, 1.1
O Lord our God, You have revealed Yourself to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Grant us grace to always confess you as the ever-blessed Holy Trinity, one God now and forever. Amen.
For the new members who will join Memorial Lutheran Church next month confessing Christ, that they would be faithful unto death
For the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nicaragua, that God the Lord would be with them as they proclaim the eternal gospel of Christ
For floor committees preparing for the LCMS convention during meetings this weekend, that they might be led by the Spirit to confess the holy faith of the church in their work
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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