The Trinity

So my really small group turned into a duet today. I had one no-show so it was just me and my friend Eleanor. We sat around for awhile enjoying our coffee and when we realized our other person wasn't showing we decided to go for sushi. This of course made my day! How the Japanese can get me to order something so healthy as a meal and still think it tastes good must be genius.

During lunch, Ellie asks me what I had planned for discussions for small group. I told her that I was just going to get generic discussions going on who people thought God is and why people seek Him. Then I was going to ask our group what they wanted to discuss in the future and I'd plan future sessions around those topics.

So she tells me, "I'd really like a more in depth knowledge of the Trinity."

Holy Cow!! This is every pastor's theological dream! I heard angels singing and bells ringing and everything. Here's a chance to use all those big theologicial words that I learned in seminary and not put someone to sleep!

Then I realized she didn't want to hear my big words. She wanted the Trinity to make sense to her. She wanted to mentally wrap her head around who God is so that she could understand why there are different parts Father, Son and Spirit. She asked, "If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, then why was there a need for the Son and Spirit parts? Wouldn't God alone be able to do the trick?"

I wanted to shout "Yes" AND "No"! Of course God alone can do the trick, the problem is that people get in the way. God didn't need to come down as Jesus, he choose to. That act of love makes all the difference in the world.

But I also wanted to say that you can think your way to God all you want but you're only human and humans for hundreds of years have tried to explain the nature of the Trinity and always fallen short. Humans in my opinion just can't fully explain the nature of God because there's nothing to compare Him to. We can't even begin to comprehend God's divine presence, authority, love, and providence etc. Even the Trinity to a degree labels God and we tend to forget that Father, Son, and Spirit encompass so much more than 3 in 1. Each of the 3 are so complex and beautiful that it is amazing that God loves each of us individually and want us to know Him more.

That is some of what I wanted to say, but for now I just listened. Oh I spoke some but it wasn't important.

I think that I'm going to learn more on this journey with my new small group than I ever realized. I'm going to learn how to finally translate some of my big churchy words. I'm going to endeavor into a world outside my Christian ghetto that is every bit as sacred as that which is going on it. And no matter how small my group might be on any given day it is growing as we seek God who is in our midst.

Until Everyone Hears,
Dr. K

Comments

Jo said…
Hey Shannon,
I'm loving your blog!

I heard a children's homily about the Trinity that you might find interesting. Fr. Lou Aiello was trying to explain the concept of the Trinity to the kids (and the adults in the congregation who've had difficulty as well).

How can there be one God, yet three parts? How is this even possible. The image he gave the kids to think about is this...

I am Joann, daughter of John/Doris.
I am Joann, wife of Jerry.
I am Joann, mother of 3 kids.

I am one person. Yet I am three different people within my one being. I fill different roles to different people as needed. I serve different purposes under each role, yet I am still me.

The example was one that kids of all ages were able to grasp. As you can see, it stuck in the head of a 35 year old "kid" as well!

Jo
Shannon said…
Glad your reading it! It's good therapy for me.

As for the Trinity, I did use the husband, father, son analogy and the water is solid, liquid, gas illustration but the questions still go deeper...

If God is omnipotent, why is there a need for three forms? And if there is a need for three forms, why aren't there infinite forms? Why just three?

All good questions huh? Of course my favorite analogy is one that the youth group came up with one day. GM is like God (the parent company), my Pontiac Montana is like Jesus (the physical being from GM, and the On Star system is like the Holy Spirit (its a special gift from the parent company that guides you to help you find your way). And all of these three things are part of the automotive industry. Of course there are holes in this analogy but I do like the idea of the Holy Spirit as On Star!

-Shannon

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