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John chapter one, verse one.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Trinity. Let’s talk about it today. Let’s start the climb up the mountain towards an impossible peak that is far beyond our understanding, but let’s go anyway, because the joy is in the journey.
I’ve heard it said that an incomplete analogy for the Trinity is the three parts of an egg. The yolk, the white, the shell. All the egg…. But that analogy never worked for me. Because the yolk is not The Egg. It is only part of the egg. It doesn’t describe how each part is fully the whole.
But that’s why it’s an incomplete analogy. It’s like looking at a mountain from one side. We see it a little, but we don’t fully understand it.
Let’s round the corner and come at it from another angle: I think that the word God is like a Title. In it, it contains everything we know about what God is. Ruler, King of Kings, Judge, Creator. One to be Worshiped.
But what if we compared it to the title, President. Who is President? At the moment, a single man. But what if there was an alteration to the constitution that allowed for more than one president? What if the office could be simultaneously held by more than one person? What if it was held by three distinct people, each with their own personalities and responsibilities, but each of them was actually due the title, “President?”
I think of this and the word “God.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
It’s still an incomplete analogy. There is something lacking in it because three distinct people would never be so in unity that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are. And the Bible clearly says there is One God.
There is One God.
Which is very, very different from three presidents.
I think this is where unity comes in. If there were three presidents, each would have his or her own goals and dreams and wills.
But the reason why the Three are One, the reason why there is One God, eternally existent in Three Persons, is because they have unity. They are not self-seeking. They submit to and love each other. They are one in spirit, more than just a nice phrase, but literally, they are bonded together so that they share one spirit.
Do you know, in the scriptures, where it says, “The two become one flesh,” This is the demonstration of the Trinity. The two become one when they love each other. Truly love. Intimate, self-sacrificing, knowing love.
The Trinity, the three, are One. They are all God, they are all knit together.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Like a king who marries and gives his title to his wife, the Son inherits the title and authority of the Father through love and submission.
When I was a kid, I was confused about who to pray to. Do I pray to the Father? To Jesus? Probably not to the Spirit, right?
When I teach children, they say, “Is God Jesus?”
It’s confusing, I know.
Because there are three persons, but One God.
But I think that the answer is that we can look at God both ways.
We read and believe that there is One God, and we wonder about it, and we accept it, and say, “Lord, teach me to understand this, because I don’t.” We do this with everything in the scriptures that is beyond our understanding, and thankfully, He teaches us to understand it more and more.
Truthfully, some things in the Bible are beyond our understanding, but I think it is foolish to say, “I will never understand it.” Instead, we look at it like children who are gradually learning. We might only catch a tiny glimpse of the mountain, but each glimpse it wonderful and makes us want more.
And we read and understand them each better for who they are individually. In the book of John, we can begin to see the different roles that each of them play. The more we read, the more we understand.
And when we pray, we can speak to them individually- in their roles. We can petition the Father for our requests. He is our provider.
But the Spirit also gives us things, comfort and wisdom… and strength. We can speak to the Spirit, He is with us. I don’t think that it is sacrilege to say, “Spirit, give me strength” or, “Welcome, Holy Spirit.”
And Jesus… well, we should talk to Him. He is our friend and brother. He is our savior and made it possible for us to be in fellowship with God.
I think there is time to talk to each of the Trinity, and we can recognize the distinctness of each of the three Persons, and get to know each of them in their positions. Our Father is Judge and King and Provider. Our Brother is our intercessor and friend, and he defends us against the accuser. Our Helper, the Spirit, is our right hand and our teacher.
But when we cry out to God, not knowing whether God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit hears us, know that there is One God, eternally existent in three persons.
They are all three God. They are all three listening.