Trinity Sunday. Always the Sunday after Pentecost Sunday in Christian congregations that follow the Revised Common Lectionary (a series of scripture readings that repeats every three years). Focusing on the uniquely Christian, impossible to fully explain, doctrine that there is One God but the One God is three “persons.” It took hundreds of years to develop, going back to the early followers of Jesus, and is something of an answer to the question “Who is Jesus?”
As a substitute preacher last Sunday I avoided pointing out that 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 for many Christians (but not all!) when talking about God.
I also skipped using any illustrations of three-in-one. If I had, I might have used the sassafras tree with its curious characteristic of having three differently shaped leaves on the same branch: un-lobed (oval), bi-lobed (mitten-shaped), tri-lobed (three-pronged). Like everything else a preacher might use, it’s imperfect. But I think it’s kind of fun.
Though I was the youngest one in the building and there was no children’s message listed in the bulletin, I read the book In God’s Name by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and showed the beautiful illustrations done by Phoebe Stone.
God is One. But God is known by many names. Many of us favor one or two particular names for God – name(s) that sometimes change depending on our current life circumstances. Sasso (a Jewish Rabbi) used these names for God in the book:
- Source of Life
- Creator of Light
- Maker of Peace
- My Rock
- Ancient One
In the coffee hour following worship, I thanked the congregants for humoring me and listening to a children’s book. Someone replied that that was the best part of the service!
The sermon was less memorable. But I hope the scripture lessons, the children’s book and/or the sermon caused one person to expand the way they think of God.