Holy Trinity Sunday

1God is our ref- | uge and strength,*
         a very present help in | trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear though the | earth gives way,*
         though the mountains be moved into the heart | of the sea,

3though its waters | roar and foam,*
         though the mountains tremble at
its | swelling.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the cit- | y of God,*
         the holy habitation of the | Most High.

5God is in the midst of her; she shall | not be moved;*
         God will help her when | morning dawns.

6The nations rage, the kingdoms | totter;*
         he utters his voice, the | earth melts.

7The LORD of hosts is | with us;*
         the God of Jacob is our | fortress.

         —Psalm 46:1–7

Additional Psalm: Psalm 46

Old Testament Reading:
Numbers 35:9–30
Cities of Refuge

9And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. 12The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. 15These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.

16“But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 17And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 18Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 19The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, lying in wait, so that he died, 21or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22“But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait 23or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, 24then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules. 25And the congregation shall rescue the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the boundaries of his city of refuge to which he fled, 27and the avenger of blood finds him outside the boundaries of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood. 28For he must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession. 29And these things shall be for a statute and rule for you throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

30“If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.”

New Testament Reading: Luke 24:28–53
[On the Road to Emmaus]

28So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them.

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

The Ascension

50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Additional Reading: Acts 1:1–7:60

Oh, that every one of us would therefore let himself be brought to faith in the prom-ises once given him in his Baptism! You who do not believe though you have been baptized, what riches of grace and salvation God has given you already, yet you do not consider or desire them! You belong in God’s kingdom yet willfully want to remain in the kingdom of darkness! The dove of the Holy Spirit has brought you, like an olive branch of peace, into the ark of the Christian Church, but you would rather wither and fade. Oh, open your eyes and return to your Baptism! Then God will be your God and Father again, your sins will be drowned in the sea of grace, and your Baptism will be the door to heaven.

But you who indeed believe, though in weakness, know this: you have in your Baptism a glorious means of strengthening. Consider this: even if everything becomes doubtful and uncertain, your Baptism stands fast. It happened once, and God does not go back on His Word. There God has, so to speak, made Himself your captive. Only do not let Him go; do not let your hand of faith let go of His covenant of grace. He cannot leave you.

What He has so dearly spoken
Never shall by Him be broken;
Firmly stands His covenant.
So let not your faith be stifled
Or by flesh and Satan rifled;
God’s hand holds you confident.

         —C. F. W. Walther

Triune God, be Thou our stay;
         O let us perish never!
Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,
         And grant us life forever.
Keep us from the evil one;
         Uphold our faith most holy,
         And let us trust Thee solely
         With humble hearts and lowly.
Let us put God’s armor on,
         With all true Christians running
         Our heavn’ly race and shunning
         The devil’s wiles and cunning.
Amen, amen! This be done;
         So sing we, “Alleluia!”
         —Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay
(LSB 505:1)

Prayer of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, You have given us grace to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity by the confession of a true faith and to worship the Unity in the power of the Divine Majesty. Keep us steadfast in this faith and defend us from all adversities; for You, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. (L52)

The Holy Trinity
Having celebrated the greatest event in God’s history of salvation, the death and resurrection of the Son of God, we pause a bit at the Feast of the Holy Trinity to consider the essence of God. Certainly the essence of God is beyond our weak comprehension, but He has graciously revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we want to summarize all the Holy Scripture says about God as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, we call Him the Holy Trinity. Even beyond the glorious summary of the persons and work of God found in the Creeds, to speak of God as the Holy Trinity says at one time all the many things that the Scriptures say about God. Our worship never ceases confessing our faith in the triune God and giving glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
The Three Universal or Ecumenical Creeds