Matthew 28: 19

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We are comfortable with the idea of our triune God but how much do we consider the three persons separately or even think about what it means to be three in one. Actually, the term, or title, “God” belies the presumption that we understand the trinity because the word “God” comes from the German word “Gott” and represents a single entity, not a trinity. It reflects, I think, the confusion we have linguistically and philosophically with who God is.

In contrast to Greek theology, Christianity came along propounding that there is only one God. We are still of that mind. We do not have a catalog of gods, one for every segment of life. The Jews and the Christians of ancient times stood in contrast to those theologies and looked odd by comparison, but that there was only one God was a very important theological stanchion in the early church. So, I think you can see how a word which represents a singular God would have snuck its way into our Christian vocabulary. It is misleading, though, and upsets our deeper dialogue and understanding of who this god is that we serve.

Although we believe in the one God view of the universe, our God is actually three people, distinct and unique, each in their own way. I know this makes us sound a bit schizophrenic, but it makes sense when you think of ourselves being made in “God’s” image. We too are three in one. We are a spirit, housed in a body, and with a collective personality, thoughts and memories we attribute to our minds; spirit, soul and body, if you will. We recognize the separate parts of ourselves but still call all three parts “me.” God is that way though even more clearly accentuated.

There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. Each is an individual, but also part of the whole. Many people call the Father “God” and that is okay, but Jesus is God too, as is the Spirit. Here is the real question, who is God to you? Do you have a relationship with the Father and the Son and the Spirit? Do you speak with each of them? Which do you worship? Whom do you love? Or whom do you love most?

As Christians most of us learned about Jesus and his status as our savior. Did our understanding continue to learn that when he said he was the way that he meant he was the way to the Father, that his mission was to reconnect us with the Father? Do some of us stop with meeting Jesus? I fear the answer is, “Yes.” And what of the Holy Spirit? Do any of us speak with this third member of the Triune Godhead? Do we pray to him? Worship him?

My intention with this Word of the Day is to get you to analyze your spiritual connection with “God”; to determine what level of relationship you enjoy with each of the three persons of the Trinity. I hope you continue to develop deeper relationships with all three and that those distinctive relationships help you grow closer to GOD.

Trinity Divinity

Psalm 33: 6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.

This is an interesting verse because we see the trinity at work creating the earth and the universe. We learned from the apostle John that Jesus is the Word. Therefore, when David wrote that the heavens were made by the Word of the Lord, we recognize the involvement of Jesus in creation. Do you remember the devotions written about the Holy Spirit where we learned that the Spirit actually is the breath of God? (For a review click here to see the Word of the Day titled Creative Breath.) God breathed and created. The Holy Spirit was hovering over the void awaiting God’s Word. Then the Word was spoken and the Spirit brought into the earth the manifestation of that spoken Word. God breathed again and human beings were given life.

Old Testament believers didn’t know about the trinity as you do today. Actually, pre-Christian religions regarded the number three as significant but they didn’t know the fullness of why it was special. The Jews were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah but they didn’t realize that he had already played a significant role in their lives. The Spirit was an even greater mystery. Today, though, you can have a relationship with the Father but also one with the Son and with the Spirit.

It seems this is a great place for us to begin the new year, thinking of how we might integrate our lives with each of the people of the trinity and enjoying the power of the trinity. At the same time, we are all setting goals which impact us as triune beings. Perhaps you have a dietary or exercise New Year’s resolution. That effects your body. Maybe you are dedicating yourself to a more routine prayer life for this year. That is a goal which impacts your spirit. And then, perhaps you are going to read more this year or take some classes. The third part of you is involved in that goal, your soul. So, this may be a good time to reflect upon your relationship with God as one triune being to another. It could be the beginning of a wonderful year.