It’s Trinity Sunday – what does that mean? St. Patrick used a shamrock’s three-sided leaf to teach the Irish that God is three persons in one. As little Kids we learned “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, but who exactly are we praying to, who exactly are those three persons?
God the Father – our dad. Jesus called him Abba, which means daddy. I used to date a girl who really thought God was an old man with a white beard! Seriously, he ain’t supposed to be our grandfather! I once had a Pentecostal friend whose prayers went “Father, I ask you…” “Father, I want to thank you…” I realized he was actually speaking to the Father, and I never did. Recently a teen told me it’s not right to pray for yourself. I asked if he’d tell his dad if he were in need. Well, God is your Father, don’t you think he wants to hear about your need?
Jesus said if God takes care of the sparrows then He cares even more for you. He told us to say “Our” Father, and that means we’re personally related to Him. He is not a distant faraway God. He is our Father, who really cares and is interested in every small detail of our lives. He delights in us if we are willing to share our lives with Him!
God the Son – our role model. I went to Catholic schools and all the holy pictures on the walls did nothing to show me any man I wanted to follow. So let’s be clear: Jesus is not a woman with a beard or a man in a dress! He is not a “girly man” like Arnold Schwarzenegger once described! He is such a manly man that rough workmen gave up their whole lives to follow him – they were the first apostles. Kings and emperors feared him though He had no armies. Heroes like Martin Luther King quoted Him, and even non-Christians like Ghandi admired Him. No man ever had more influence on the world. But Jesus is not a figure in history like a dead president or someone in a museum. Tim Tebow honors Him at every game because He is alive and has a relationship with Him. Do you have a relationship with Him? If not, then maybe it’s time to get to know Him, talk to Him, and listen for His answers.
God the Holy Spirit – our protector. We don’t relate to a dove, or fire, or wind, so how can we visualize the Spirit? The Bible says in the beginning there was chaos. God called all things into being and by the Spirit, they were created. So we know the Spirit is powerful. “Spirit of Truth” is one name in the Bible. We all like truth, don’t we? We like people to be straight with us, and we feel good when we tell the truth. Perhaps the Holy Spirit helps us do the right thing? Do you like Harry Potter? His magical powers are only make believe! In Confirmation the Bishop says, “Be sealed with the Holy Spirit” and the REAL creative powers of the Spirit are sealed in you. That’s awesome! But the Holy Spirit is not just a force. Jesus called the Spirit the “comforter” or “advocate”. A comforter is someone who takes care of us when we’re down, and an advocate is a lawyer, who makes our case to the world, or stands up for us. The Spirit is our protector, and a real person! So think about the three individual persons of God; pray to each one by name; and maybe this Trinity Sunday can be the start of a new relationship!