After a brief look at a number of blogs on this, I found the expected schizophrenia that descends upon many a confessional Lutheran on Trinity Sunday, myself included.
On the one hand, this great creed gets so little press that we really need to expose our people to it at least once a year.
On the other hand, as the liturgically minded are sometimes wont to say, "there is no authority" for replacing the Nicene Creed with it on Trinity Sunday.
What to do?
The Bishop of Kewanee (that would be your humble scribe) has given the parish here permission to allow that it be confessed in place of the Nicene Creed on Trinity Sunday only.
It is a great thing to say, and always brings the mind to wondering.
To see the entire text of it, click here.
This year I took to wondering about this: "He that would be saved must thus think of the Trinity."
And the left side of my brain began pondering -- right during mass, mind you -- the idea that one must 'think' anything at all in order to be saved. I mean, what about infants, etc.
But then the right side of my brain quickly replied, 'thus think' means essentially this: 'if you're going to go thinking about the Trinity, as thinkers do, you must think of the Trinity in this way. That's what it means. No heretics permitted, you know?
And then the left side of my brain thought, Well, there's also: ". . . which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved." Seems to me this 'firmly' business suggests that it's a matter of mustering up enough confidence; which it really isn't.
And then the right side of my brain replied, This is really nothing other than what we have in St. James, who says that a double-minded man ought not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
It's all a matter of context.
The Christian faith is not for idle conversations of the intelligentsia of the culture. The Holy Trinity does not belong on page xx of the catechism. He is a consuming fire. He is holy, holy, holy. His train fills the temple.
And that got me musing on Isaiah 6, and thinking, I too am undone, a man of unclean lips, dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips, until, as it were, a seraph places his live coal, which he had taken from the altar with tongs, on my tongue, to purge my sin.
[Here's the meaning I take from the vision of Isaiah: on the 'tongs' of the cross, Christ was crucified, and the savor of it rose to the Father's nostrils, a pleasing aroma of sacrifice for the sin of the world; and Christ Himself is now taken from the altar, in the Holy Sacrament, and placed on my tongue to purge my sins]
He is a consuming fire, but in His eternal love He has purged my sin, and delivers that forgiveness to me by the Holy Ghost.
Indeed the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is no matter for idle or disinterested conversation. "He that would be saved must thus think . . ."