What do you think of when you hear the word ‘God’?
There are lots of images out there, from the ‘bearded man in the sky’ to what Han Solo would call ‘one all-powerful Force controlling everything’.
How we think about God shapes how we experience God. Many people live with the feeling that God is very distant or absent from the world.
On Sunday we were reminded by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, that the Christian understanding of God is unique, and quite different to what many people, even many Christians, tend to believe. Christians believe in God the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, somehow one God and three persons. We believe this because this is what Jesus taught us and showed us about God.
The Trinity is one of those theological ideas that seems irrelevant to everyday life. What does it matter to us if there is this mysterious and incomprehensible three-ness about God?
Actually, the Trinity is the most practical Christian belief of all,
because what it means is that God is a God of relationships,
and that he has the ability to be present in every aspect of our lives.
I described in my sermon the various Persons of the Trinity as we might experience them:
God the Father who is above and around everything God has made,
God the Son (Jesus) who lives with us and understands us, for He knows what it means to be human and
God the Holy Spirit who lives inside us and fills our hearts with God’s love.
So God lives with us and in us, and we live in him. This is a more complicated picture of God than the man in the sky with the beard, but one that is much more real and powerful.