Love finds peace (pt 3)

by Craig on February 23, 2011

photo credit: Jack Boon

I’ve found these to be the steps to peace in any situation.

But…

before I move onto step three I need to write about something that may seem a little out of place at first. But it’s kind of big thing – and if it’s not brought up here it could lead to confusion later – and once confusion starts faith breaks a little – and with that trust – and those are the only two things required for this crazy plan of mine to work.

We need to take a quick look at the Trinity.

Because the method of finding peace in any situation is based on the prayer of one member of the Trinity to another. My twin sight Deep into Scripture is where I’ll eventually really dig deep into this mystery – but here is not the place.

But faith is a part of love – and faith needs some understanding of the tough things too. No?

If you’ve never thought about – or been asked this question – my guess is, at one point in your life of faith you’ll have to confront it.

When Jesus was praying to the Father in the Garden – was he praying to himself?

It needs a good answer.

And there is one.

And so I’ll keep it as short as possible,

and I promise it will be worth it.

First, there is no one verse in Scripture that says there are three who are God, but only One God. The word Trinity does not appear in Scripture. But the Bible clearly states that Jesus was God, and the Father, and the Spirit – but there is only and ever One God.

The early church believed it. In the writings of the leaders of the church just after the Apostles died they echo what the Bible said. They don’t explain it. They just kind of swim in the idea as comfortably as in a swimming pool.

It was only in the later centuries when men (and I do mean men) began putting their minds to work harder than their faith, that there was even any debate at all.

There’s the history in a nutshell.

Now I’ll share with you the best illustration of the Trinity you have ever heard. It’s one that is almost 2,000 years old – and why it’s such a secret I may never know.

It was written by Tertullian around 200 ish. And it goes something like this:

photo credit: Johnson Space Center

The Trinity is like the Sun,

and the beam of light that issues from it,

and the point of light where that beam lands

Those three are distinct in form, and function but the same in essence and being. You can’t have any one without the other two. There is one that is the source, one that is the connecting bridge, and one that is shines in the here and now.

Father

Son

Spirit

The three are distinct in form, and function, but the same in essence and being. You can’t have the Father without the Son, or the Spirit without the Father, or the Son without the Spirit – you can’t can’t have one without the other two – or two without the other one.

The Father is the source, the Son is the connecting bridge, and the Spirit shines in the here and now.

It would be nice if it were fully explained a million different ways in the Bible. It’s there but not all neat and concise – and it takes work to really apprehend the mystery. But it’s the faith. What are we gonna do – get rid of the tough parts?

It’s unique among all concepts, anywhere, of what God is.

And when it gets a little to heady for me I remember Tertullian’s analogy:

The Trinity is like the Sun,

and the beam of light that issues from it,

and the point of light where that beam lands

So, is answering that question of to whom Our Lord was praying in the Garden any easier now?

Tomorrow step number three.

In God’s love.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home February 23, 2011 at 5:21 am

What a tremendously clear presentation of the Trinity!!! That was excellent! I have never heard, or read, it put quite that way… but it is so simple. Thanks for sharing this.

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Craig February 23, 2011 at 8:10 am

Thank you Sharon – all credit goes to Tertullian – and some people who challenged my belief in the Trinity. I had to find the answers – so searched and found this. I’m with you it’s clear and simple – and I don’t even know why we bother with all of the other analogies – when this one is so good – but we never use it – a mystery.

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Dianna McBride February 23, 2011 at 6:55 am

This description of the Trinity is much easier to understand than any of the many other ways I’ve heard it explained. Thanks so much, Craig, for sharing this!

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Craig February 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

Thank you Diana – hope everybody understands why this was important to sneak in here – in the middle of the steps. It was that very question about Jesus in the Garden that I needed to answer – this helped me do it. Over on the other site someday I want to do a series on it. Thank you for reading – and for these really kind words.

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Anonymuss February 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

Love this explanation of the Trinity!!!! Also love the question about who Jesus was praying too…!

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Craig February 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

A. My faith would not be what it is today if people had not confronted my belief in the Trinity – it’s just like church history – they believed it as fact – then some people challenged the belief – then they researched and came up with answers we call the creeds. I followed the same pattern. Thank you A. God Bless.

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Dawn February 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

craig, i wanted so much to thank you for the kind words you left on my blog. today they were light to my heart. and… i played french horn, too :)

i enjoyed this post… the mystery of faith… the Trinity being absent from the bible, and the vivid description of it. i follow with faith, and hardly ever question. but i like to have answers! since reading “the shack” i have felt a better understanding of the Trinity, and now even more. blessing to you!

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Craig February 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Dawn – thank you very much. And the French Horn – between you and me – is there a harder or more unforgiving musical instrument to play? God bless you for your faith and in your faith – and thank you for being here.

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Debbie February 26, 2011 at 4:01 am

I have heard that explanation before about the Trinity, but thank you for reminding me again . . .and I didn’t know where it originated from. :) Now, to go read more!

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Craig February 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

Tertullian was a champion of the Trinity. It is so simply this in the end though – the Bible tells us there are three who are God, and only one God, I we will never become God – everything els we understand about God – is icing – but those three things are the cake. God Bless Deb.

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