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In thanksgiving… for God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

2nd November 2020

Andrei Rublov's Icon of the Trinity (explanation here).

The United States of America celebrates Thanksgiving on November 26th this year. In this season, Bishop Julian Dobbs has asked rising clergy and lay voices in the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word to come together and reflect on what it means to “Bless the Lord.”

In thanksgiving… for God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

The Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs

How wonderful that we serve one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Bible and the creeds of the Church categorically insist that although God is One, He is three eternally distinct persons of Being called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Sunday by Sunday when we state the words of the Creed we acknowledge our belief in the Trinity as we declare:  I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord, and I believe in the Holy Spirit. By declaring these words in our worship, we declare the biblical faith we have we received and acknowledge our faith in the Living God of the Bible.

Think of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, baptized in the River Jordan, He heard the voice of God the Father acknowledging him as the Son of God and He saw the Holy Spirit like a dove descending upon him. His baptism was a Trinitarian event. Think of the end of his public ministry when after the resurrection He commissioned his followers to go to make disciples of all the nations and baptize them into the single name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Who is God the Father?
Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Our Father” and that Aramaic word Abba (“Father”) is a precious description of Jesus' own relationship with Father God.  How wonderful that we have a Father God who loves us so much that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Who is God the Son?
The apostle John writes, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  Jesus is the only way to heal the breach and bridge the chasm between sinful human beings and a holy God in heaven.

Who is God the Holy Spirit?
To be a Christian, the catechism of the Anglican Church in North America says, God the Holy Spirit is the third Person in the one Being of the Holy Trinity, coequal and coeternal with God the Father and God the Son, and equally worthy of our honor and worship. The Holy Spirit comforts us, encourages us, emboldens us and empowers to be faithful to Jesus.

The late Dr. John Stott, Anglican author and theologian would begin each day praying the trinitarian prayer below.  I encourage you to include this prayer as part of your own morning devotion.

The Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs is the diocesan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word, a diocese in the Anglican Church in North America.


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, Savior and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship you, 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.

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