I have a friend who used used to tell a joke that went like this: God so loved the world…. that he did not send a committee.
And yet today is Trinity Sunday…. Maybe in a way God DID send a committee.
God so loved the world that she gave us room and space to think about the great mystery that a Triune God presents. First we learn the words that tell us about what the Trinity is. The doctrine of the Trinity says that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct persons. We break it down to three points:
- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons,
- each Person is fully God,
- there is only one God.
But what does that really mean? God so loved the world that they gave us an imagination.
Trinity as snickers bar:
The nougat is the Father. The nuts are the Son. And the caramel is the Holy Spirit. Snickers is the number one selling candy bar in America because it is made up of the perfect amount of each of these three items – just as the Holy Trinity is made up of the perfect amount of each. But what about the chocolate all around the outside? That is the all-encompassing love that envelops everything else.
Trinity as a math problem: 1x1x1=1
Trinity as a science problem. H20: Water, steam, ice. All different forms of the same element.
Our kids this morning learned about the Trinity as an apple:
- An apple has three parts: the seeds, the flesh, and the skin. When you cut an apple in half, you can see that each of these three parts are different.
- The skin is like God the Father because He protects us.
- The flesh is like God the Son because Jesus Christ took on human flesh.
- The seeds are like God the Holy Spirit because He through His power, we grow in faith.
- Each of the parts of an apple are different, but they are ALL apple.
These are all great when we want to think about what the Trinity is. I wonder though….Why? Why did God need to make this so complicated and hard to understand? Why do we need three forms of God?
Fortunately, God so loved the world that he gave us hearts to feel God and God’s great love for us. God wants us to encounter holiness again and again.
- God—When we need cosmic. When we have big questions. When we look at creation. When we need perspective.
- Jesus— When we need humanity. When we need to feel like God gets what we are going through. When we feel alone and afraid. When we need to be reminded how to see people. When we want to know how to interact with the world we encounter day to day.
- Holy Spirit—When we need inspiration. When we need direction. When we want to figure out how to move through the world in a way that makes a difference. When we need to get stuff done.
God so loved to world that she gave us minds and hearts to know and understand love and bring it to the world, to believe in the deepest mystery.
God so loved the world that God did send a committee… a committee of one in three. A God that is bigger and more powerful than we can imagine. A God that is as frail and humble as we sometimes feel. A God that will lead us in direction that will make us creators, lovers, healers….anything the world needs us to be.
Preached by the Ven. Hailey McKeefry Delmas at Church of the Transfiguration on Trinity Sunday, 2021.