"Glory be to God the Father, Glory be to God the Son, Glory be to God the Spirit: Great Jehovah, Three in One! Glory, glory while eternal ages run!
"Glory to the King of angels, Glory to the Church's King, Glory to the King of nations; Heav'n and earth, your praises bring! Glory, glory to the King of glory sing!"
In the Athanasian Creed, sometimes spoken on Trinity Sunday, we confess that "the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshiped." That is what we do in our hymn; we give glory to the Triune God. It is really the only thing we can do. The Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—One God in three Persons—is a mystery beyond our limited understanding.
We know what Holy Scripture reveals to us concerning the Triune God we worship. We hear the "Unity in Trinity" in His plural expression on the sixth day of creation, as God says, "Let Us make man in Our image" (Genesis 1:26b). At Jesus' Baptism, the three Persons of the Trinity were made known as the Son rose up from the water, the Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and the Father's voice was heard from heaven, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17b). The crucified and risen Son commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations, "baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19b).
Even with the revelations of Scripture, the mystery of the Trinity is just that, a mystery, but we do know what the Triune God has done to save us. God the Father sent His Son into the world to be our Savior. God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took on human flesh. He was born among us and walked the earth. He suffered, died, and rose from death in triumph. The Son of God, our Savior Jesus Christ, ascended in glory to reign at the Father's right hand. After Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples. It is the Spirit who calls people to faith through the Gospel and leads them in lives of love, worship, and service in Jesus' Name.
When we finally live forever in the presence of God, will we understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity? We may know more then, but perhaps we will have no need to understand. We will know, as we do now, what "the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity" has done to save us. "While eternal ages run," we will join the saints of every time and place to glorify the Three in One: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen" (Revelation 7:12).
WE PRAY: Triune God, You have saved me. I will glorify Your holy Name now and forever! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "Glory Be to God the Father," which is number 506 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. What purpose would the Christian Creeds serve for the early church?
2. Where do you go if you have questions about Baptism, Communion—that sort of thing?
3. Are the Christian Creeds still helpful today? How so?
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