Monday, May 23, 2016

Holy Trillium

I spoke with a young couple on Sunday after church. The young man was having difficulty trying to understand the concept of the Trinity - the Christian belief that God exists in three, distinct persons or entities, yet is at the same time one God.

This is a difficult thing to grasp even for the knowledgeable but here is one man's take on it.

I heard one of my pastors once describe it this way. Light three candles in a single room. How many candles are there? Three. How many "lights" are there? Well, there is only one light, from all three candles. Each candle might have different individual characteristics but they join together to product one light.

Here's my attempt. On my way back from meeting with this young couple I saw some flowers by the roadside - trilliums. They were everywhere! I thought, "Perfect. Three pedals, one flower. Three-in-one! One aroma emanating from it. The Trinity."

There some people who believe in a partial Trinity, kind of like how water exists in three separate forms - water, water vapor (steam) and ice. They believe that the three parts never occur at the same time. These people are called modalists. Though they call themselves Christians they really are not. The concept of the "three in one" is an essential tenant of the Christian faith. Check this passage from the Book of Matthew.

"16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3:13-17

All three parts of The Trinity are present at the same time - Jesus is standing on earth, God The Father is in heaven and The Holy Spirit is descending.

The Trinity is a difficult thing to understand. Will we ever fully understand it? When we get to heaven will we see three? Or One?

Finally, there is a symbol used in many churches to represent the Trinity. Does this symbol at the right look familiar? It should. It looks just like a trillium. :)

I don't profess to be all-knowledgeable on this subject, but my view lines up with many. Can you think of other example of three-in-one in this world? You probably can. In the meantime, scour the woods where YOU live in search of the Holy Trinity. :)

This I Believe (The Creed) - Hillsong Worship

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