Two Sundays ago, we celebrated the ascension of Jesus. His mission had been accomplished. He had humbled himself, became one of us, and was "obedient to death, even death on a cross." After the defeat of death, Jesus ascended to the right hand of God the Father as our victorious Lord.
Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. Acts 2 tells the story of the Holy Spirit coming in his fullness. Although Jesus would be physically absent, he promised he would not leave his disciples alone. He fulfilled his promise when he sent the Holy Spirit to be with the disciples.
This week is Trinity Sunday. The ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit raises the question of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How do these three relate to one another? Trinity Sunday provides an opportunity to explore the relationship and its significance for us.
Some may question the importance of trying to understand the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. John Stott provides us with a practical example. The relationship is seen in his morning prayer as he prepares for the day:
John Stott’s "Morning Trinitarian Prayer"
Good morning heavenly Father, Good morning Lord Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I worship you as the creator and sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus, I worship you, as Savior and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship you, as sanctifier of the people of God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen.
John Stott, quoted in Basic Christian: The Inside Story of John Stott