The Trinity

No. 18 - 11th December 2016

Every week, I take my wife for a session of hydrotherapy at Burrswood hospital in Groombridge. And while she’s doing that, I spend a relaxed half hour in the café that looks out over the beautiful estate. It was quite cold this week – only about three or four degrees outside, and as I sat at the large window, the low winter sun was shining straight into my eyes. I couldn’t look at it because it was far too bright, but everything around me stood out brilliantly in its light. My back was quite cold but my face was burning with its heat.

I had forgotten to take my mobile with me, so all I could do was sit and think, and I was reminded about an illustration that a friend of mine passed on to me. We were discussing the Trinity, as you do, and I just thought her explanation was so good. The Trinity, just to remind you, is the Christian concept of worshiping one God, who is three persons. We’re told to baptise people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So how God can be those three distinct persons and still be One God, is rather hard to understand.

My friend’s illustration went like this. If you take the sun that was shining on me as I sat in the café, the star itself is like the Father. It’s the source of all things. The light from the sun is like Jesus. He even called himself “The Light of the World”. And in another place he’s called the “outshining of the Father’s glory”, like the rays of light that radiate out from the sun. The light is not the sun. It proceeds from the sun, and without the sun there would be no light.

The heat that I was feeling on my face is like the Holy Spirit. He’s described as the Comforter, and the one who comes to live in the believer. He’s the one who gives the Christian the desire to change and be different, but more than that, he also provides us with the power, or the ability to change. In the Trinity, you can’t separate Jesus and the Holy Spirit from the Father, they are three distinct persons, and yet they are all one. Like the heat and light that radiates from our sun, you can’t have one without the other. Simple!

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