Have you ever looked at all the hymns in your hymnal that deal with the Trinity? How many of them do we regularly sing? Many of them are only routinely sung on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost in the spring or following the offering as we sing the doxology or Gloria Patri. Otherwise this blessed and gracious truth of God is not emphasized in our churches as much as it should be.
Recently we looked at God as the Great I AM. Jesus took that name for Himself as well in John 8 where He told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM”. Later in John 10 Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Another name given to the Holy Spirit in Scripture is the Spirit of God. The church has proclaimed the teaching of the Trinity in confessions used each Sunday in many churches, The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. One of the most ancient hymns of the church is the te deum, a hymn of praise reflecting the glory and majesty of the Trinity.
What does that have to do with grace? Grace is the blessed and powerful work of the Trinity to save and preserve His people. In grace we find the godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in our lives. Each day we find power from above and power within and power alongside us as we walk in our life of grace. The enormity of the Triune God working in our lives each day should fill us with awe and gratitude and praise.
Praise can be expressed in prayer. Prayer isn’t just a time to ask God for things. It is a time to recognize God for who He is and that acknowledgment is praise. Praise can be expressed in obedience. We praise God before the world by living in concert to His will. Jesus said to let our light shine before men that they might glorify our Father in heaven.
Praise can also be expressed in song. One version of the te deum is found in an ancient hymn translated by Clarence Walworth, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”. His fourth stanza reads, “Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee; while in essence only One, undivided God we claim Thee; And adoring bend the knee, while we own the mystery.” In the original there were 8 stanzas. The final is our appeal for the help of the Triune God in our daily life. “Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray, by a thousand snares surrounded: keep us without sin today, never let us be confounded. Lo, I put my trust in Thee; never, Lord, abandon me.” Rejoice and take hope today in the Name of the Triune God.
The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend. Amen
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