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June 19, 2019

Scripture John 16:12-15

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

John 16:13-14 NRSV

The Trinity sums up the aspects of God that we ourselves experience. Derived from scripture and our worship, it is a single name for God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three expressions of God are described distinctly in various parts of scripture. However, the term we use, “Trinity,” was coined by the church and does not appear in scripture at all. And, scripture does not contain a a summary or presentation about the Trinity.

This somewhat mysterious description of our experience of God came about in the early church by necessity, as the church and its leadership attempted to describe what they knew of God through prayer, worship, and service to others in their ministry. The language they developed became part of worship and the “fabric” of the church through its liturgy, or forms of worship. And, a great deal of that language remains with us today.

These “three persons,” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, can be modified to the roles of Creator, Savior, and Sustainer if we desire less gender-specific terms. Regardless, there is no shortage of ways to communicate the experiences of human beings with God. The variety of expressions only highlights the inadequacy of human language to describe God.

Through our experience of God, we move into deeper relationships with God which, in turn, produces increasing commitment to our faith and our practice of it. Give thanks to God, the Creator, who made us, and to Christ, who saves us, and to God’s Spirit, which sustains us.

Stan Reid


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