Service of the Word for Trinity Sunday, 30 May 2021

Led by Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga
Preacher: Revd George Mwaura


Call to Worship

Holy, holy, holy is our wonderful God! Creator!
Saviour! Sustainer! Let us worship our God of infinite mystery,
yet who is closer to us than our own breath.


Opening responses

Come God, come mother and father, creator and sustainer,
maker of all that is and will be.
Come and move among us, come and bring us life!

Come Jesus; come friend and Saviour, brother and Lord,
sharer of our humanity, bearer of our pain.
Come and move among us, come and bring us life!

Come Holy Spirit, come counsellor, encourager,
equipper and enlivener of our faith, our strength and our guide.
Come and move among us, come and bring us life!

You are greater than our minds can fathom,
higher than our highest thoughts.
Grant us this day a sense of your greatness,
a glimpse of your otherness and your nearness,
an awareness of your eternal purpose that spans creation,
yet includes us here and now.
Great and wonderful God,
come and move among us, come and bring us life!

Hymn: Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

Reginald Heber (1783–1826)


God of the Living Word,
we praise you for the gift of Scripture for the truths it invites us to embrace;
for the questions that echo our own;
for the conversations that puzzle and enlighten us; for the encounters that inspire and inform us;
for the certainty, the mystery, the grace.
We praise you, today and always.

But, Lord, you know the ignorance and darkness of our hearts
and we ask you to forgive us;
forgive us, Lord, for:

Seeking earthly absolutes and not eternal mysteries:
we are truly sorry.

For rooting ourselves in the finite and not nurturing the infinite within:
we are truly sorry.

For saying ‘I’ much more than ‘we’ and for damaging relationships:
we are truly sorry.

Forgive us and strengthen us, we pray.
For we are truly sorry.



Prayer of the Week

Wonderful God, as we gaze at the miracle of your world, intricate and interconnected,
huge in scope, microscopic in detail, we are amazed.
We wonder that you love each one of us, seeing us, knowing us
and filling us with the breath of life.
You hold us in being moment by moment.
Help us to worship you as mystery, to hug you as friend,
and with you, to care for the whole of creation.


Ministry of the Word

Psalm 29

Read by Janet Trimnell

1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;
worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King for ever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

John 3: 1–17

Read by Marian Bradley

Jesus teaches Nicodemus

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’

3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’

4 ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’

5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’

9 ‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.

10 ‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.


By Revd George Mwaura

God in three persons, speak to us in this space by your Spirt and shine light into our human understanding of who you are.


A family living in New Jersey in the USA narrated a hilarious experience of taking a young girl of Asian origin to church with them. The girl’s parents had travelled and left them minding the eight-year-old. It was the girl’s first exposure to Christian worship and they were a bit anxious. When they returned home, they asked her what she thought of the service. ‘I loved the singing,’ she said, ‘but I do not understand why the West Coast was left out.’ When they asked her what she meant, she said, ‘You know, what the man at the front of the church was saying: “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the whole East Coast”.’ Funny as this might sound, I can see why she was confused.

There are some elements of our faith that are difficult to understand or explain, and one of these is the Trinity. Another girl, one whose family is actually known to me here in Milton Keynes, asked her mother, her father and her Sunday School teacher what God was like and none of them gave her a suitable answer. But at least her father was honest; he said to her: go ask your mother! The little girl thought to herself: If I had lived with God for years, like my parents or our Sunday School teacher, surely, I would be able to explain to people what God is like. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is our problem. Yes, we are Christians and yes most of us have walked with God all our lives. So really, we ought to be able to tell people what God is like, should we not? But quite often, we have no clue.

Story has it that Saint Augustine was walking along the seashore one day while pondering this same issue of the Trinity, Father, Son, and the whole East coast when he thought he heard God’s voice say to him: ‘Pick up one of those large seashells by the shore.’ So, he picked it up. Then the voice said: ‘Now empty the ocean into the shell.’ He thought for a moment and said, ‘Lord, it is not possible.’ And the voice came back: ‘Of course not. In the same way, how can your limited mind ever hold and understand the mystery of the eternal, infinite, triune God? Do you get my drift?’

Many Christian churches will be celebrating Trinity Sunday today, an important truth of the Christian faith, but one which is the least understood. Like Augustine asks: how can you empty the ocean into a mere seashell? How do you explain the majesty of God to minds as limited as ours? I am not going to make a fool of myself by pretending to know everything about this mystery either, but with your permission, I will share my thoughts. So, God in three persons, what does it mean?

To begin with, it means that God is beyond the categories in which we human beings classify reality. I put it to you that most people’s problem is that they have a God who is too small, too limited. But look around you: the evidence is to the contrary. Truly, the heavens bear the evidence of the glory of God. And the glory which the heavens display is breath-taking. In 150 bc a man named Hipparchus said there were exactly 1026 stars in the universe. One thousand, five hundred years later Galileo, using the newly invented telescope, investigated the sky and saw millions and millions of stars. Today, we know there are about a hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone and do not forget there are thousands upon thousands of galaxies besides ours! So, how big is this universe then, you might ask? I will tell you: in 1987 an astronomer observed with his naked eyes the explosion of a distant super-giant star known as a supernova. But the most amazing fact of this blast is not that he saw it all, rather that the event had happened 170,000 years before. It had taken that long for the light generated by that faraway event, travelling almost six trillion miles a year, to reach earth. That is mind-boggling! That is how vast the universe is. Now, can you imagine the magnitude of a God who is bigger than all that? Can you imagine a God for whom time does not even exist?  As Augustine said, God created time just as he created space. There is no tomorrow or yesterday in heaven; eternity is timeless. It is good to remember when we are impatient with God that God lives out of the time dimension. Many of us have a God who is too small, one who fits into our stereotype. But God is the Divine Other and he is beyond our imagination. I wonder, is your God big enough?

Second, this God who is beyond our understanding visited our planet in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. As Christians, we do not believe that God set the world in motion and then sailed off to a holiday destination without a forwarding address. Oh no! We believe God came to us in the life of a humble carpenter and that he is still active in the world, renewing it by the power of his Spirit. Please note that I did not say God came in the guise of a humble carpenter. I said he came in the life of a carpenter. Jesus was not God masquerading as a man. No, no, God emptied himself and became fully human when Christ was born in a manger at Bethlehem. He was a real man and yet God was in him reconciling the world unto himself and taking on him the sins of the world and the punishment we deserved. It is beyond our comprehension that the God of billions of galaxies would humble himself to become one of us and to take upon himself our weakness and our shame. He defies all human logic. That is what the doctrine of the Trinity is saying to us.

And finally, this mighty God is available to everyone here and now. That is right: the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit of God, is at work in here with us this morning! She is present and available; she is our Comforter, our Sustainer and she is our Friend. In the early 80s, Israel`s Prime Minister Menachem Begin visited James Callaghan, the then British Prime Minster and noticed three telephones with distinct colours on Callaghan`s desk. Tell me, what are those for? Callaghan said: the red one is to the White House, the blue one to the Kremlin and the gold one is a direct line to God, he joked. How much does it cost to call God? Begin asked. Ten thousand pounds a call, Callaghan replied, but it is worth every penny! A year later when Callaghan was visiting Begin in Israel, he asked the same question. What are your three phones for? Begin replied: One’s a hot line to Egypt, another is a hot line to Parliament, and the third is a hotline to God. How much does it cost to call God from here?  Callaghan asked.  Begin smiled and said: nothing, nothing at all: all local calls are free! Friends, you do not need a long-distance call to connect with God; God is here and everywhere: in the East Coast and yes, even the West Coast!

The confusing doctrine of the Trinity says that the same God of a billion galaxies, who emptied himself and walked the dusty roads of Galilee, is a local call away. He is here, and he is available. If we have a need, he is our Provider; if we are heartbroken, he is our comforter, and if we have wandered far away from the path of righteousness, he is our Saviour. Everything we ever need: we find in him. God in three persons; Father, Son and whole East Coast – blessed Trinity!


Musical response: Hymn to the Trinity

Blessed angel spirits offer praise undying,
ever crying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.

Saints and martyrs praise thy name,
Trinity life-giving,
earthborn sorrow leaving before thy throne.
Ever crying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.

Father omnipotent,
mighty in glory,
Christ thy son our saviour,
who died that we might live.
Holy Spirit, mystic dove dwelling with us evermore;
we praise thee, blessed Trinity.

With the angels’ sacred hymn all thy might proclaiming,
with the mystic cherubim in songs of praise we join.
Holy, holy, holy,
join we all in songs of praise for ever:
Hallelujah, Lord God of Sabaoth.

Words from an Orthodox church Cherubic hymn, translated by W G Rothery.
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith.

We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power from on high.

We believe in one God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.



Led by Cheryl Montgomery

This is Trinity Sunday, the celebration of those aspects of God made known to us through humanity and spirituality, in glory and in goodness. Let us come to God in prayer as his grateful children and place before Father, Son and Spirit our needs and the needs of our world.

Gracious God, we thank you for the precious gift of our Saviour Jesus and the unfathomable blessing of the Spirit’s power. We praise you in your majesty, we praise you for your love for us, we praise you for your all-protecting goodness. May we, your children, remain steadfast in your love.

Gracious God, we lift to you our fellowship of Christ the Cornerstone, seeking how to be church as our city moves towards a more sociable future. Focus our eyes on unity and common purpose. Help us to embrace each other with kindness and friendship, putting away animosity or personal prejudice. Help us courageously move again to open doors and the noisy chatter of friendly voices raised in happy greeting. Give us insight, give us hearts overflowing with hospitality to welcome the poor and intimidated with humility and dignity. May we, your children, remain steadfast in your love.

Gracious God we lift to you the G7 leaders who meet in Cornwall next week. Give them a unified mind and a generous spirit, that the vaccine benefit may be flung round the world, accessible to everyone. Give them a unified mind and an unflinching spirit to stand against the promoters of war as resolution to conflict. Give them a unified mind and an imaginative spirit to stand firm in defence of the environment and an unwavering commitment to saving the climate. We your children rely on your steadfast love.

Gracious God, we lift to you those people we know who need your blessing for relief from the continuum of pain, for relief from the blackness of a hurting soul, for the gift of renewed hope and a calmed heart. May they, your children, remain steadfast in your love.

By your grace may we continue to praise and serve you, sharing our salvation gift, our salvation story, in our service to Central Milton Keynes. May we, your children, remain steadfast in your love.


The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, let us pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


The Peace

The Risen Christ said to his disciples: peace be with you.

And I too say to you, my sisters and brothers: May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.

Let us offer one another a sign of peace,
and wave to those on the screens.



Thank you
to everyone who has continued giving through our regular schemes during these past months.
Your generosity has been amazing and much appreciated.
We couldn’t have carried on without you.

We have various ways in which you can continue to give your offering in support of the Church.

For details please contact the Stewardship Secretary, Janet Trimnell, at

Full details are also available on our website at:

Hymn: We are heirs of God Almighty

We are heirs of God Almighty,
apple of the Father’s eye:
free, forgiven, loved, accepted;
clothed in righteousness divine;
chosen to be pure and blameless
from before the world began;
grace for every situation
sheltered in the Father’s hand.

We have Christ at work within us,
shaping us to be like him;
resurrection power sustaining
freedom from the snares of sin;
saying no to flesh desires,
saying yes to righteous ways;
filled with passion and with power,
lights that burn in darkened day.

We’ve the Spirit without measure,
Helper, Comforter and Guide;
one who brings the gifts of heaven,
one who comes to walk beside;
taste of heaven’s endless pleasure,
guarantee of what’s to come,
causing fruit to grow in action,
bringing glory to the Son.

Stuart Townend (b. 1963)


Wonderful God, help us to keep adventuring with you.
May we allow ourselves to be filled with visions of your awesomeness,
and may we know your presence closer to us than our own breathing.

And may the Blessings of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
rest and remain with us today and always.



Church, go in peace to serve and love the Lord.

In the name of Christ, we will.