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Jaw-drop astounding

January 22, 2009

For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology course with Dan Wilt

Last year I was driving our car and my daughters were with me. The trip was memorable. It was not the destination that made the trip memorable, it was the conversation we had on the way to our destination.

Olivia: Mom, do we worship 3 gods?
Me (trying to cover my surprise): No, why would you ask that?
Olivia (reciting a prayer she’s learned from preschool): God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit.
Me (thanking God that I knew the prayer): What comes after ‘God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit?’
Olivia: 3 in 1.
Me: That’s right Olivia. God is three – Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit and one. The three are God. We have a word for it – the Trinity.
Olivia: Oh.

Olivia shifted the conversation to another topic with the speed and agility that 5 year olds have when it comes to switching topics.  I have to admit, I was relieved to be done with the topic.

The Trinity.

It’s a difficult concept for us to grasp isn’t it? How can God be three, yet one?

I’m reading a book by N.T. Wright that has impacted my understanding not only of God as Trinity, but also my understanding of the Kingdom of God (heaven meeting earth).
In Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense Wright skillfully outlines the role God the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit have in reclaiming all of creation.
Wright’s explanation of how heaven meets earth has jolted my view of the Kingdom of God. More specifically, Jesus’ work bringing heaven to earth and joining them together forever ¹ along with explaining the Spirit’s role in our lives.

God offers us, through the Spirit, the gift of being at last what we know in our bones we were meant to be: creatures that live in both dimensions of his created order.² Right now the Holy Spirit is reclaiming me, my human self, so that I ‘can be both part of the new creation in advance and someone through whom it begins to happen here and now.’ ³

astoundingThat’s jaw-drop astounding to me!

God as Trinity lets us see how God relates to humankind⁴ and I’m not waiting for Olivia to bring up the topic for us to start talking about it again.  The conversation has already started in our house.

I want to understand and I want my girls to understand God as Trinity not for the sake of knowledge, but rather so we can know our Father, our Savior King and our Helper more and more as we live out our lives reflecting Him.

The Kingdom of God is here. The whole world is God’s holy land and we Christ followers are called to be part of that reclaiming.⁵

What are your thoughts?

Would you be comfortable talking with a 5 year old (or an adult) about the Trinity?

Interested in reading Simply Christian? You can find it here.

¹N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006), p.102
²Ibid, p.136
³Ibid, p. 126
⁴Dan Wilt, Essentials in Worship Theology PDF, The Nature of God, p. 13
⁵N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, Why Christianity Makes Sense (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2006), pp. 125-126

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