3 in 1

Daily Office readings for Trinity Sunday, May 26, 2013:

AM Psalm 146, 147; PM Psalm 111, 112, 113

Ecclus. 43: 1-12(27-33); Eph. 4:1-16 ; John 1:1-18

I bet I’m not the only person who has sat in church on Trinity Sunday and pondered 3 in 1 Oil™ as a metaphor for the Trinity. (By the way, if you’ve ever wondered what the “three” in it is, it’s spindle oil, citronella oil, and a bit of some proprietary corrosion inhibitor.)

You know, really, when we are using 3 in 1 Oil, we don’t think to ourselves, “Oh, it’s the spindle oil that is making my bike chain stop clunking,” or “I am sure this rusty hinge is only being affected by the citronella oil.” We would say it’s the action of the entire formula that is fixing whatever squeaky, rusty, or stuck thing we are focused upon.

Yet, on Trinity Sunday, preachers have sure wasted a lot of chair sitting hours trying to write a sermon about the nature of the Trinity.

Our Gospel reading is a startling reminder to the reality of the nature of God. God is light, born in the Word, and made flesh in Christ. Light–what seems like a single entity to us, is actually incredibly complex–multiple frequencies and wavelengths which behave like a particle and a wave. It’s every color in the spectrum of the rainbow. About the only way we understand it is through analogy, even though all analogies fall short at some point.

Ultimately, though, it’s not about what the Light of God is–it’s about what the Light of God does. It shines in the darkness and is ultimately unconquerable. It continually draws us to it. Some days it might be the work of the Father; other days it might be our understanding of the Son. Still other days, it’s the feeling of the wind of the Holy Spirit in our hair. But when it’s all said and done, it’s all God, and when we understand the outcome of those times God has intervened in our lives, we really don’t give a hoot and a holler about which of the three did the lion’s share of the work. It’s all God, and we are grateful for the light.

What’s your favorite analogy for the Trinity? When has that analogy been made real in your life?

Maria Evans, a surgical pathologist from Kirksville, MO, writes about the obscurities of life, medicine, faith, and the Episcopal Church on her blog, Kirkepiscatoid

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