Trinity: Perplexing Mystery, Fascinating Hope

31 05 2016

Have you ever tried talking to children about Jesus being equal with God the Father and just ended up stumbling over your words? Then try saying that there’s a Holy Spirit too and he’s God, but there’s still just one God. Perhaps we can use words like these when explaining Trinity to children: “Thanks to Jesus Christ, we can have closeness with God the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Let your clarifications flow from this.

Understanding God as triune is a non-negotiable dimension of the gospel.

-Stanley Grenz

…for through [Jesus Christ we] have access in one Spirit to the Father.”

-Ephesians 2:17-18

Epic Quest

Understanding the Trinity is a perplexing mystery and yet, it is a fascinating hope worth gazing on.

Consider the galaxy. It’s vastness overcomes our sense of wonder. But at the same time it continually draws us into a longing to discover every aspect of it.

The unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three distinct persons is like this. Our little human minds fail to properly understand this God, but at the same time, we are fascinated with the pursuit of knowing God personally. The Trinity pictures for us unity, diversity, loving relationship, unique roles, one source of life and various expressions of life.

With children, however, the complexities of these thoughts can quickly be lost. As I recommend in another post, let’s keep it simple. But keeping it simple does not mean boring or dry. We can stir up children’s imaginations and propel them to want more.

Let’s send kids on an epic quest of endless discovery of their Creator, Lord and Best Friend.

Let’s break down my kid-friendly description of the Trinity: “Thanks to Jesus Christ, we can have closeness with God the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Thanks to Jesus Christ

Without Jesus (being God/deity, becoming human/humanity, bringing together/atonement, etc.) we can’t come to God. He makes forever friendship with God possible. He defeats death, which is the opposite of God who brings life to all things. He shows us what God is like. So we teach kids to thank Jesus for what he’s done for us.

Closeness with God the Father

God is Father to Creation, all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere-present. We honour God to remember this. Furthermore, God is all-loving and endlessly kind. A simple way to start this conversation with children is to say, “God is great and God is good.” While God is super strong, he also wants to be crazy close.

Holy Spirit Power

The Holy Spirit gives us power to come alive. He connects us to the Father. He fills us with all godly things. He helps us live as God designed us to. He is not the force. He has much better power than that. So we teach children to want the power of God in them.

The Father creates life, Jesus brings back life and the Holy Spirit empowers life. God is all about life (one God). Each member of the Trinity shows off that life in different ways. Trinity: One God united and three diverse persons. This is over simplistic, but I find it helpful to say big truths in small ways and in many ways. Don’t lose sight of the Quest!

What are your own ways to speak of these big truths with your children?

Lord, I want to understand how you are one great God, and three distinct persons!

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