The Festival of The Holy Trinity

I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want to keep people waiting. It wouldn’t steady. One of the legs wasn’t locking in place. My brain wasn’t processing what exactly was happening. I was in the ‘keep doing the same thing as you have in the past’ mode but when the tripod wouldn’t stand upright as it had done 3 hours earlier, I had to pause and have a good look at it. And one of the extendable legs in its three parts came apart in my hand and I held broken bits of plastic and a broken leg. We quickly changed to putting the camera on books on a pew and the Redeemer Pentecost photo was taken. (And it is very nice!) However the tripod is no more when one leg isn’t working. A tripod’s identity and function are based on three legs.

We are used to the number 3 and can ‘see’ them all around us – height, width, depth or liquid, solid, gas or the primary colours which are different for light and pigment but are still 3 colours. The rule of thirds in art or photography is used to make a more pleasing picture. We resonate when we hear ‘threes’ – “A government by the people, for the people, and of the people” (Abraham Lincoln) or “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” (Benjamin Disraeli). In the world view of what goes around, comes around, it can be said that there is such a thing as a Threefold Law which is that whatever energy good or bad you ‘give out’, you will ‘get back’ threefold. I am sure you can think of many 3s!

As I put away the tripod and thought that a tripod with two legs doesn’t work (it isn’t a tripod!) my random neurons went to the verse in Ecclesiastes about a threefold cord not easily broken (or falling over in the case of a tripod!) – And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). And while I was putting the camera on the books on the back of the pew, I thought of marriage counselling and how Christian couples are taught a triangle with Jesus as the apex and they are each corner of the base and so as they get closer to Jesus they become closer to each other. The random neurons were firing as we had just finished the worship service and yes the focus of the past hour was very much Jesus but the Father and the Holy Spirit were not absent – and Jesus wasn’t being a rebellious Son playing with humanity against their wishes – but rather that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are mightily and mysterious present and active drawing us to him, serving us through words, water, bread and wine – while we concentrate on God with the face of Jesus! You can have lots of random neurons in split seconds!

As I write this now, I’m less rushed but it occurs to me that all of creation will echo with 3s because all of creation reflects the glory of God and God’s self revelation is clear and complete in the mystery and wonder of the Trinity. God is not static but personal, dynamic, and relational in a way we can’t really understand but discover and grow in as we learn how God feels about us – each of us – look to the cross! – and we are unique, never to be ‘repeated’ in the universe – and this God has gone to such lengths to give us life with him! Look to the cross! And life is not just a heart beating, eating, reproducing physical life – but a life that has meaning and purpose, beauty and joy because we are loved by this God, this Triune God, who has entered into a relationship with us – and that is why I think we resonate with 3s. It’s almost as if creation is trying to tell us something!