As I write my piece this time I find myself stuck between Pentecost and Holy Trinity Sunday and so I thought I would share with a little play that I wrote for church tomorrow. I hope that you like it and that it makes some sort of sense…I’m hoping my congregations can make some sort of sense of it as well. And if you don’t understand the concept of the Holy Trinity then don’t worry…join the club and if any one tells you that they do understand it all, completely, then good luck to them, for I’m sure that I don’t!
Paul M Holdsworth
The Trinity Question(s) – A short, two handed play…
Passer-by: Are you a vicar?
Minister: Well, yes sort of. I am a minster, really, but some folk call me father and the members of the youth club call me pasta, for some reason.
Passer-by: As in the spaghetti?
Minister: Yes, but don’t ask. It should be pastor, of course, but they seem to prefer pasta…can’t think why…
Passer-by: Er…Ok. So, pasta, can I ask you a question?
Minister: Yes, of course. Fire away!
Passer-by: Can you tell me what the Trinity is, please?
Minister: Ah, yes, that old theological conundrum, the image of the divine that has challenged and even flummoxed theologians for centuries. That philosophical construct that has both tormented and inspired Christians for the best part of two millennia…the Trinity…
Passer-by: Yes, the trinity. Can you tell me what it is, and what it means to Christians?
Minister: Yes, I believe I can…
Passer-by: Do you think that you could so that for me…some time today would be lovely…
Minister: Ah, yes, sorry. Well the Trinity was first mentioned by the Ante-Nicene Fathers in the early 2nd century and supported by Justin Martyr and Theophilus of Antioch later in the same century. It is based on the Trinitarian Christian doctrine of the Trinity, from the Latin triad, from trinus or threefold, and defines God as three con-substantial persons or hypostases: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit —as “one God in three Divine Persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature”. In this context, a “nature” is what one is, while a “person” is who is…
Passer-by: Er, can you run that by me again, this time in English?
Minister: Yes, sorry, it is a bit complicated. Let’s try it this way. We have one God, in three parts: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Passer-by: Ah, so it’s like the Hindus: you worship several Gods.
Minister: No, not at all. We are monotheistic – we worship one God.
Passer-by: Just like the Muslims then.
Minister: No. One God, just in three parts. Firstly God the Father, the Creator.
Passer-by: Just like those who follow the Jewish faith: Abba Father.
Minister: Well, sort of. But there is more to it than that. We also have the Son, that great gift to us all, the personification of love, who taught us to be like him and to love everyone around us.
Passer-by: Sounds like one of the main ideas behind Buddhism to me.
Minister: That may well be, but Jesus is the Son of God, both human and devine, and is also described in many other ways, such as the light of the world, the word, the great I am, the vine, Alpha and Omega etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…
Passer-by: I see…anything else?
Minister: Well then there’s the Holy Spirit, with the father at the point of Creation in Genesis and the helper of Jesus himself. Given to the disciples at Pentecost, and present in each of us and throughout the world even now.
Passer-by: So, you are spiritualists then?
Minister: No, that is a philosophical system of communicating with the dead, especially through mediums.
Passer-by: You don’t do that then?
Minister: No. We communicate with God, through Jesus, the intercessor, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Passer-by: I see.
Minister: Are you sure?
Passer-by: I think so…but may be you could hit me with it one more time…
Minister: OK. The Holy Trinity. One God, indivisible, but able to operate in the three parts, and yet existing as one divine presence, within in each of us and throughout the whole of creation.
Passer-by: I see. It sort of makes sense and I think that I understand the Trinity now.
Minister: That’s wonderful…do you think you could explain it to me, please??