Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 26th May 2024: Trinity Sunday 2024

God as Son God as Holy Spirit God as Father Trinity Isaiah 6

Reading : Verses from Isaiah, Chapter 6

Rublev Trinity

* 'The Holy Trinity' an icon painted by 15th painter, Andrei Rublev, depicting the three angels who visited Abraham.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.' Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


At the beginning of my full-time ministry the idea of 'all-age worship' was paramount, and a Family or All-Age Service was not a service where the adults did everything or just let the children show their craft-work. All-Age meant that the best people were chosen for a task, age was unimportant. So I spent a lot of services as well as my 'Sermon Slot' books doing inventive 'stuff' (technical term!!) regarding the Trinity. We worship one God, who is yet three persons, is a difficult concept, and I looked at lots of symbols and analogies, like 1x1x1=1; or God as a shamrock leaf with three segments; or H₂O which can be ice, steam, or water. But none of these really did the job for at heart, God is a mystery!

So what happens if we look at the characteristics of Yahweh (God) who is the Creator of all things? Isaiah in his vision sees Him in a whole panoply of colour and noise, of angels, seraphs and incense, who is lifted high above all things, as the prophet stands in mortal terror before Him. As Christians though we believe that the scriptures reveal God as the Father (1 John 3.1), God as the Son (John 1.1-14), and God as the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2.10 ). Each of these has a distinct role but all three interact with one another. So God the Father sends His Son to the world; Jesus refers to God as his Father and prays to Him; and the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus at his baptism, while Jesus sends Him through God the Father to empower His disciples. But all three are equally believed to be 100% God.

So it is that we are blessed, absolved, and baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And every time we say our Creeds or say "Amen" (meaning "so be it") we corporately agree to God who is both three but one! But if our faith struggles at any time others will uphold the belief, when we say "We believe.....!"


Alternative Collect for Trinity Sunday

Holy God,
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to know more about Rublev's icon, this is helpful:

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