The Trinity… helps you work, rest and play

Today’s passages from Isaiah chapter 40 and Mark chapter 1 (the first a great descriptive piece of writing about the character of God and the second a wonderful passage where we see all 3 persons of the Trinity in action within a few words) help us think about what God is like. The partial but incomplete, the mention of all three persons in the Gospel, the symbols of water, the dove, the words of the prophet… so lets see where we can get to, because Trinity Sunday is either a day when we just accept we can’t fathom God, or we do some work on trying to see what we can fathom of God…

Now, starting with the deep theological stuff- we need someone who knows a bit about chocolate…(for anyone listening on i-player or reading this on the blog- you’ll have to get your own Mars bar to really join in!) the ingredients of Mars are chocolate, nougat and caramel centre… well, here’s  Mars Bar, lets see if you can find a bit of each of them… separate it out and show us what they look like… its a pretty messy process that ultimately, isn’t very successful- but what about finding the ingredients of them- some sugar, some milk, some butter, some barley, a bit of salt and egg… when you try to pull a mars bar apart, you just end up with a mess- it can’t really be done, but when the ingredients are all together- they are more than they are on their own…just the other day my daughter took a mix of sugar, egg, some flour, a bit of baking powder and cocoa, and it became a cake- when we try to understand God, we need to know that God is more than just Jesus, more than just the Holy Spirit, more than just the Father…

So now I need 3 more helpers- people who can move… in fact one of you doesn’t need to move at all… someone sitting… someone standing… anyone fancy lying down (or in a buggy?)… when you are standing, you can’t be sitting, when you’re lying you aren’t doing either of the others, but you are still absolutely you… When we come close to God in one way- when we’re worshipping the Father or the Son, when we’re receiving from the Holy Spirit…

Another way of thinking about the Trinity that you may be familiar with is that of water- it can be a solid, a liquid or a gas, but they are all water- each one possesses different properties, each one does its own thing. They are all fundamentally the same, just in different conditions of temperature and pressure. The three persons of the Trinity each act in different ways, but always in keeping with the others- When we look at the actions of Jesus, they are in line with the character of the Father, when we see the work of the Holy Spirit in our own and other’s lives, it continues what we saw happening through and around Jesus…

If we’re trying to see how this fits together- God the Father is the Lord almighty- the Lord of Hosts who is to be feared, except he is also the creator and the shepherd of his people… Jesus took on that image and said ‘I am the Good Shepherd’… he was God in a place, with a smile on his face, but was not someone to be messed around… but he could only be in one place at a time, and so the sending of the Holy Spirit for all believers was a logical next step- God’s power and God’s love in others… so that the world might look to us and see God, just as much as people look at the created world and see the character and hand of the creator

And what should the world see of God-  we look at space and see? We look at a newborn baby and see? We look at a parent or grandparent and see? We look at Jesus as a man, on the cross? We look at the ocean, the sand, the sunset… we see God’s character… his love, grace, mercy, glory…

As humans we all have our own character and we all warm to different people- each of us naturally or from our upbringing relates more easily to God as Father, as Son or as Holy Spirit… that is normal. If you have a strong (positive or negative) relationship with your own father that will affect your understanding of and relationship with God the Father. Any sibling rivalry will affect your connection to Jesus- the kind of big brother who you’re never going to beat at anything, but will never let anyone put you down (sounds familiar to anyone?), and your relationship with the Holy Spirit is often seen by some as linked to the way we relate to our mothers… and all of this could be rubbish, but my own experience tells me it isn’t. However, wherever we start, we need to know that the persons of the Trinity consistently and constantly point and lead us on to the others… as the Son does what the father does and calls out the Spirit, so the Spirit came down onto Jesus and draws us closer to the Father, and the Father sent the Son to do their will on earth…which was to prepare the way for the coming of the Holy Spirit…

So in our lives, lets be open to the whole of God, lets get to know all of God, lets meet with and worship and share all of God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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