O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB
When Love Spills Over
"When Love Spills Over"
Based on Gen. 1 and Mt. 28:16-20
Preached on June 19, 2011
Fellow baptized saints, if you can't tell by now, today we celebrate the Festival of the Holy Trinity. We remember and confess who our God is, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Trinity is such a divine mystery, one which I could never fully explain, I thought I would begin my sermon by re-reading the Athanasian Creed for you. So, bear with me here. Oh come on seriously.
No, this morning instead of defining the Godhead like a Creed, we are going to ask Him to share a special moment with us. We are going to gaze deeper into the very heart of God. We are going to explore the inner workings of the Trinity. To look upon the holy love shared deep within. To see how the holy love of God is so full that it spills over into all of creation, drowning us in mercy and compassion, and drawing us up into its eternal depths. This morning we watch the Holy Love of the Trinity spill over.
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father sees His Son. He is focused on His Son. He loves His Son. The Son sees His Father. He is focused on His Father. He loves His Father. He obeys His Father. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, all eyes turned to the other. The Father thinks not of Himself, but only of His Son. The Son thinks not of Himself, but only of His Father. The Trinity is deeply personal, deeply aware, deeply intouch. The Father wants the Son to be loved. The Son wants the Father to be loved. And spilling over from this inner fountain of love, spilling over from the very heart of God, and only that the other may be loved, the Father says, "Speak Son." And the Son speaks, "Let there be light."
Out of the deep Love within God, He created everything out of nothing. The Holy Love of the Trinity spilled over into the beautiful, glorious creation in which we live. God's inner Love was expressed in His creation, one with such beauty and variety, with such abundance and simplicity, a living creation, one suitable for such real Love. And as the crown of His creation, the true reason He spoke creation into being, He created you. One creature made in His image. One special creature made to experience the inner Love of God. To see Him. To focus on Him. To love and obey Him. God created man to share in His deep Love, to behold Him as our holy, loving God and live together, deeply personal, deeply aware, deeply intouch.
Yes, dear friend, God created you. Personally. He made you who you are. He knew you before you were named. He knew you as a toddler before you were born. He knows who you will be in one year from now. He created you out of Love, and He created you to Love you and to be loved by you. You are not just one of the billions of people on Earth. You are personally seen by God. Made by Him on purpose.
It feels good to be the crown of His creation. It sounds good to hear God say, "let them have dominion over all the earth." But take a look around. What do you see? We do not want His holy Love. We are not focused on God, the way that the Son is focused on His Father. Yes God's Love spilled over, only to be rejected. We cannot speak of Love received, but Love despised, Love ignored, Love attacked, Love hated. We have betrayed the greatest love imaginable. We have rebelled against the Love that spilled over onto us, and we do it again everyday. We have hated His Love. Instead of living in the love of our Creator, we have tried to take Him over, and meet our own needs. We have tried to make ourselves the god. He should want what we have. He should beg for our love. He should do what I say.
Do you realize that your life is a word from God's mouth, that you continue to breathe because God's Word says so? With all of our sin and rebellion, our selfishness and avoidance of God everyday, it is a divine miracle that He does withdraw His Word from us this very instant and start again – It would certainly be the right thing to do – It would certainly be lawful, justified and true, for in nearly every moment of my life I forget God. In nearly every moment of my life I look to my own needs. Sure, there are times when I consider God or others, and I try to convince myself that these make me a good person, but they do not. I have spurned God's love, and give it little attention from day to day.
What do you have to say to God?
What could possibly come from your mouth in defense of your life?
What could convince Him that He should let your breath remain?
Lord have mercy!
Dearly beloved, because you have betrayed God's Love, the Holy Love of the Trinity has spilled over yet again. God has laid out His heart on a cross. He has put it out for all to attack, for all to spurn, for all to mock for all to ignore. He has suffered the justice so that His mercy may remain. He has spilled His bright red love down the grainy wood of the cross, and through this torment He restores His beloved creation. Through His death, He draws us back into the love of the Trinity. For He is deeply personal, deeply compassionate, and deeply aware of you.
Your God does not want to lose you. He does not want to start creation over. He wants you. He loves you, and so over spills His Love – again and again. He stands on a mountain with His disciples and explains how He will restore you to your place as crown of His creation. He says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Spill my Love on them. Spill my Love on all nations. Spill the name of the Holy Trinity upon them in the waters of Baptism. The name wherein Holy Love lives. Spill God's Love wherever you go, for I am always with you, I will keep you safe.
Think about it, your God created the whole universe with His powerful Word, He holds your life in place with the power of His Word, and yet with the same powerful Word He has washed you clean in His Holy Name – He has replaced your hate, and your complacency, and your apathy towards Him with His perfect Trinitarian love – the same deep love that rested within the Trinity before creation ever took place – He has restored you to the depth of that love, and has brought the whole Trinity to live within you – He though holy and far beyond all things, has chosen to come and dwell in you, a sinful, fallen creature.
And yet His spilling continues. It almost seems wasteful, but as we saw in His creation, we have a God of abundance. Abundant life and abundant love. He spills His Love for you here today. He spills it into your mouth. He spills it into your heart. When you kneel before His altar, it is no longer Love rejected, Love despised or Love ignored, but Love received. Here He spills His precious blood into your mouth, the blood He spilled for your salvation on the cross, He now serves you for your forgiveness. The Love He spilled to create you, He spilled to redeem you, and He continues to spill it in order to draw you closer to Him. To draw you deeper into that inner Love of the Trinity that He created you to share with Him. (pause) May He keep us from forgetting His Love as He draws us closer and closer to Him everyday. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Rev. Cameron Schnarr