Two weeks ago, I had such a grateful opportunity to travel Greece with my wife looking around the cities where Paul had visited. We started our journey in Athens. And the closest city, Corinth, was our next stop. Then, from there, we drove up to the far north to visit Thessaloniki and Philippi. On the way, we stayed one night in Delphi which is famous for the great ancient temple. This temple is located deep in the mountains. Arrived at a hotel there, I was so tired after a long drive that I fell asleep early. But because of jet lag, I woke up in the middle of night around 3am. Drinking a cup of water, I thought, I might see some stars. So I walked out to a small balcony. Breathing in fresh and crisp night air, I looked up the sky. And I was just amazed. I could see countless stars. It was the most beautiful night sky I have ever met. Not only that, I also noticed a faint band of shimmering light across the sky. I thought, it could be Milky Way. So I brought out my camera and took some long-exposure photos. And fortunately, I could capture this view.
That night I sat on the balcony for almost three hours. It was such a wonderful time, except the loud snoring sound from the man next room (yes, it was such a small country hotel).
Watching the night sky, I couldn’t help recalling the famous Psalm, which happens to be the Psalm for today, Psalm 8. “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).
I know, we rarely look up the night sky. So we don’t have many chances to be astonished like this Psalmist. But every night, although we cannot see it clearly, we know there’s Milky Way over our head, which is the plane of our Galaxy made up with billions of stars. And we know, out in the universe, there are billons of other Galaxies too. This magnitude of creation always inspires awe and wonder as we imagine it.
In the face of this vast universe, some people may ask how small and how short-lived we are, feeling futility and meaninglessness of life. But when we look at the grand drama of creation, our Christian faith always awakens us to be amazed and to find more meanings of our life and more reasons to be thankful. The Psalmist sings, “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 honor” (Psalm 8:3-5). The Psalmist encourages us. “Yes, we are such humble humans. We are dust. We are small and short-lived. But let us open our eyes and see. God who created this whole universe is mindful of us, comes to us in person, and makes a loving relationship with us. Isn’t this incredible? Isn’t this amazing?”
Today, on this Trinity Sunday, we especially need this sense of amazement filled with heartfelt gratitude more than any other Sundays. We need this inspiration of the Psalmist to truly understand the holy mystery of the Trinity. Why? It’s because the Trinity is not just a mere idea, not just a theological concept, but it ultimately tells us the way that God is mindful of us, the way that God loves us. It’s because the Trinity is all about God’s love that has been revealed to us in three different ways, in three different persons. And the point is, this love doesn’t have to be reasonable or verifiable. This love doesn’t have to be understood by our rational mind, because this love surpasses all our understandings; this love comes to us with awe and wonder beyond our limited knowledge. So we better open our hearts to be amazed, astonished, and inspired.
The Bible tells us stories of this wonderful love, how this love shapes our lives as well as the history of the whole universe. God, the Creator, created us in God’s own image with the sacred worth. God, the Redeemer Jesus Christ, came to live with us in the form of human being, loved us to the end, and died for us for our new life. God, the Holy Spirit, abides in each one of us and inspires us to be true disciples. This triune God has done all this work for no one else but each one of us. Then, do we deserve this love? I don’t think so. God doesn’t have to love us. And we haven’t done anything worthy for this grace. We have no merit to claim it. Nonetheless, God decided to come to us, makes a relationship with us, claims us God’s own, and remain faithful to us…in three different ways. This amazing threefold love, this triple love, is the essence of the Holy Trinity.
In this vast universe, in this world filled with sense of futility and meaninglessness of life, our faith looks up to the Lord in whom we find true meanings and to whom we anchor our humble selves. Then God will surely open our eyes and hearts towards the love we have received and God’s unfathomable work of grace for us and fill us with gratitude. And we may finally sing from the bottom of our hearts, “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1) “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (8:4)
Sisters and brothers in Christ, on this Trinity Sunday, I want you to remember once again, the Trinity is all about God’s life-giving love that has been revealed to us in three different ways, in three different persons. Because of this threefold love, we have a new life. And because of this triple love, our lives become meaningful. Today, let us go and share this love with others and share the story of everlasting love. Tell them, God has come to us not once, not even twice, but three times to show God’s love. Today, let us also share this triple love through our practices. If you have someone hard to love, don’t just try once and give up. Try twice. Try three times asking help from the Holy Spirit.
Today, as we reflect on the Trinity, I hope and pray that God the Creator may amaze us again with the grace that created us in God’s image. God the Redeemer may astonish us again with the love that renews our life. And God the Holy Spirit may inspire us again with the guidance that leads us always into love and service for one another. May our triune God’s threefold love be with all of us in our lives always. Amen.
Pastor Earl Kim