The Trinity, Thomas Jefferson, and Thinking Faith

Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17 and John 3:1-17

The first Sunday after Pentecost usually emphasizes the doctrine of the Trinity: “one God in three Persons.” Such an understanding of the One God brings together all the revelation of God Incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth as well as the full divinity of the Holy Spirit.

Having said that, it still requires an act of faith and a lifetime of Bible and theological study to even come close to understanding how One can be Three! Our third President Thomas Jefferson was an ardent student of the Bible and Christian faith, but just could not accept the idea of the Trinity. And he had difficulty accepting the divinity of Jesus!

We can applaud Jefferson’s grand contributions to our country’s founding and to the fashioning of democracy but he is less helpful as a Bible scholar and theologian! Even so, he tried to understand and apply that understanding to his personal faith and national interest.

Sunday we will worship God as Trinity and ponder the mystery of our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Our understanding of God will always fall short of our capacity to use reason, but we will always be about praise and thanksgiving believing that ultimately God is love and THAT we can follow from the cradle to the grave! Sometimes we just have to “sing our faith,” walk the faith daily, and humbly pray for wisdom in our seeking the things that matter most, the ultimate meaning of our lives.

How fitting that Trinity Sunday falls on Memorial Day weekend. A civic holiday in which we honor those who offered the ultimate sacrifice for our common good. God as Trinity is intimately involved in our humanity, knows the death of a Son, and goes on to support us in our losses and griefs as the Advocate, Counselor Spirit!

Amen and Amen!!

Pastor Barry †

Beginnings Never Stop

Psalm 104:24-34, Acts 2:1-21 and John 15:26-27

You would have to use some imagination (as well as reading the histories) to get a grasp of the establishment of our congregations Locks Memorial and Kedron back in the early 1800s! The birth of two Methodist churches on the Tennessee frontier. A Pentecost of sorts for the people whom God called to worship and minister in this part of middle Tennessee. And to this day, they worship and serve the people in the name of God.

Any church survives and thrives by being given both the “gifts of the Spirit” and the “fruit of the Spirit.” On the first day of Pentecost Jesus bestows the Spirit on His Church with the expectation it will have the God-given power to continue till the End of Time as we know it.

And this has been the case with the witness of Locks and Kedron over the generations. And alongside hundreds of other Methodist congregations in our District and Conference. And we also share and observe the ministries of numerous other denominations in our community. In spite of alarming reports of church decline, we still see the work of the Sprit in our lives. Where would any of us be without the Spirit?!

Sunday we will celebrate the birthday AND anniversary of the Church and congregational expression of the Church. We are in an Age when the Church takes on many forms and identities. Nevertheless, it won’t be the Church if the Spirit’s fruits and gifts are absent. Let us pray for the Spirit’s presence wherever we walk by faith and live as the Church!


Pastor Barry †

The Pandemic

Psalm 1, I John 5:9-13 and John 17:6-19

In my absence on May 16, Bill Smith has graciously agreed to bring our message in worship. Bill has been a certified Lay Speaker for a number of years. Lay speakers are often called upon on short notice to fill in for pastors due to illness, unexpected circumstances, vacations, etc. They have opportunities to preach in churches throughout the district and even the conference. But they are often underutilized so I am glad Bill has “stepped up” to fill in.

His lectionary texts speak of our having a confidence in our God who “watches over the way of the righteous” (Psalm 1) and “protects us from the evil one” (John 17). The counter point to this caring God is the rough, fallen world of sin we are caught up in. Bill will help us hear with renewed confidence that God cares and is not forsaking us even in the difficult year(s) of 2020-2021.

Pray for Bill and our worship leaders for May 16. The Word WILL come to us in word and deed in our time of worship and we can go forth from our sanctuary with reassurance that God is able!

Blessings upon all in their coming and going, rising up and lying down, and finding their way in the world. Be a disciple for the sake of the Gospel transformation of that world!

Pastor Barry †

Step on a Crack….A Mother’s Strength

Proverbs 32:25-31 and I Corinthians 13:4-7

We will honor and celebrate Mothers and their kind (and their kindness!) this Sunday. Delann Harris Dunbar has put together a creative Order of Worship for the congregation.

We will sing mainly from the Cokesbury hymnal and hear several poems read. We will hear of the strength of Mothers from our scripture and our experiences.

From Proverbs we will hear of the labors of family and community committed women. From I Corinthians we will hear of the characteristics of love. The examples before us are remembered and celebrated.

Bring your gratitude for those in your life who work and care for the wellbeing of others. We will give thanks to God!

Pastor Barry †