John 16.12-15 ESV
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
We have all kinds of special Sundays, each one with the aim of pointing us to God and His salvation for us. Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The purpose of today is for us to celebrate God as we understand Him and as He is—as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is one, yet three; three yet one. He is not three separate God’s but He is also not just three separate expressions.
As you can see, talking about the Trinity can get messy and because of that, we sometimes try and take the simple route and simply stop referring to God as Trinity. It’s just simpler that way. But in our attempt to be simple, we actually lose the way God has chosen to exist and reveal Himself to us. And to lose that is to run the risk of misunderstanding God, both as who He is and what He has done for us.
To add to the chaos of this topic, I figured I would pick a video to illustrate the messiness. This is Abbott and Costello, one of the great comedic teams of the 20th Century. Their most famous act is known as “Who’s on first,” where they attempt to talk about a baseball team with players who have interesting names. Costello isn’t familiar with the players and so he doesn’t understand the conversation the way Abbott does. You’ll notice, though, that after a while Costello comes around and gets it down pat before it’s all over. Let’s watch…
Talking about God is never easy. But one of the most helpful ways of understanding God is understanding what it is that God has done for us, then sort of ‘working backwards’ in order to get to the core of who God is. And so I want you to try and see it like this: God is the Father over us; God is the Son with us; and God is the Spirit in us.
The Father is the one who brings forth life. It is through God that we are conceived, springing forth from the womb of the world He has created. He loves, leads, promises and protects His children. He loves us, just as a good, good Father does but the key is returning that love and trusting that He has our best interest at heart. Only a good Father would.
The Son is God with us, who comes alongside us in this life. He is the spitting image of the Father, pointing back to Him in every way. He reflects the Father’s goodness in real and tangible ways, coming alongside us and revealing God through His actions and even the Scriptures, just as He did to the disciples in Luke 24.13.
Jesus, the Son of God, shows us how the Father desires we live and move throughout this life. When we see Jesus, we see the Father’s love and character in the flesh. We also see in the Son just what the Father is willing to sacrifice for our salvation and through Jesus’ sacrifice we see just how deep the Father’s love is for us.
The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God, He is God in us. It is through the Holy Spirit that the fullness of God is packed up into an indwelling presence that God desires to share with all those that would believe in Him. The Spirit is the gift of God, freely given and bestowed, if we will call on Him and trust in Him.
Just as we celebrated last Sunday, it is the Spirit that God is pouring out on His people for the purpose of bringing intimacy and power to a people trapped in darkness. The Holy Spirit is the light of God, tearing through the darkness by igniting the people of God with all the mercy, grace and power that is needed to overcome evil. God has come near in the Spirit and desires to reign in the hearts of those who desire to have sin expelled from their hearts and lives.
And so we have the opportunity to talk about God in ways that don’t leave people wondering “who’s on first?!” We can speak to others about God through the experience God has provided us with. And so we speak of the Father who loves, of the Son who sacrifices, and of the Spirit who never leaves us. Blessed is God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.