Sunday 30th May 2021

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Today, we along with many churches around the world will grapple with the concept of the Trinity – God who is known and experience as Father, Son and Spirit, yet is one God. Today is known as Trinity Sunday. It doesn’t relate to any particular event in the scriptures but at Easter we focus on God the Son and at Pentecost we look at God the Holy Spirit so, it seems sensible to spend time thinking about how these – along with God the Father are one God.

The word trinity isn’t used in the Bible but there are lots of occasions where scripture mentions 2 of the 3 persons of the trinity: Father and Spirit / Father and Son / Son and Spirit, but we also have a few occasions where all three are mention such as in this morning’s bible reading from John’s gospel. The version of the bible you read from may refer to God’s Holy Spirit as counsellor, advocate or helper. As you read this passage notice the ways in which Jesus, God the Son, talks about God the Father and God the Holy Spirit

Read: John 16: 5-15

So, the hymn printed at the end of this article summarises what Jesus is saying: Thank you O my father for giving us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done. The facts we know about the Holy Trinity, are a bit more complicated than a song can cope with. When try to understand who God is, it involve us using our little grey cells – brain-power to begin to grasp the magnificence of God.

I wonder if you can juggle? Because that what it can feel like as we try to make sense of these statements which define God the Trinity. The first is easy enough ‘God is known and experienced as Father, Son and Spirit’, then we add another ball ‘Each is distinct from the other’ and then we try to keep going with a 3rd ball added ‘Each is fully God’ and finally with the 4th statement ‘there is only one God’ it is difficult to keep all the balls in the air. I feel I can pick any 2 or even 3 of those statements and hold them in my mind – but as soon as I add a 3rd or 4th – I ‘drop the ball’ yet these are just the basic headlines about the complexity of who our God is.

We are told that we are made in God’s image and so it is all too easy to incorrectly think of God as just a better version of us – a superman / a wonder-woman. We are made in the image of God in the sense that SOMETHING of God can be seen in us – but not all of God. We are able to create and make moral decisions, we have a sense of time passing, we are spiritually aware - all of these things show we are in the image of God, but God is so much more than we can ever reveal.

Back to juggling. As I grappled with what to share with you, I realised that most of the time we don’t need to juggle all the balls (all the facts) at the same time. We don’t need all of these facts about our triune God at the forefront of our minds all the time – we do need to know them for when we need them and I came up with poor illustration, but hopefully a helpful one: Somewhere in your kitchen is a draw full of useful utensils. You don’t need all of them every time you are cooking but sometimes only one particular utensil will do – a sieve, a ladle or a spatula. So, we need to know that they are there for that occasion, but don’t need them every time we cook.

We don’t need to be ‘juggling all these facts all the time - that God is known and experienced as Father, Son and Spirit; each distinct from the other; each is fully God - yet there is only one God! Sometimes we will need a heavenly father and at other times we will need to be assured that we have a Saviour who has taken away our sin. At other times we will need to know the breath of God in our lives and there may be times when we will need to have the assurance that all three are fully God.

So, if we are finding the trinity difficult to understand, we need to remember that the fact we can’t fully comprehend who God is, shows us that God is God. Shows us that God will always exceed our knowledge and understanding and that is what makes him our Almighty, Magnificent God – One God experienced as Father, Son and Spirit.

Sometimes we will need to know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: and other time the love of Father God and at yet other times the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote this ‘Trinitarian Blessing’ to the believers in Corinth (2 Corinthians 13: 14) just 20 years after that day of Pentecost when God poured out his Spirit on all who call on his name.

Use the words of this hymn to lead you into thanking God for being Father, Son and Spirit!

There is a redeemer Jesus, God's own Son, precious Lamb of God, Messiah, holy One.

Thank You, O my Father, for giving us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done.

Jesus my Redeemer, name above all names, precious Lamb of God, Messiah, O for sinners slain;

Thank You, O my Father, for giving us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done.

When I stand in glory I will see His face, and there I'll serve my King for ever in that holy place.

Thank You, O my Father, for giving us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done.

(Melody Green © Word

Page last updated: 6th June 2021 6:22 AM