Try for Tri in Words
I have used “tri” as a word in the title of my blog this week even though I know it is not a legal word. However, I ask you, my Reader, “What did you first think of when you read ‘tri’ in my title? What words do you think of that begin with the prefix ‘tri’?”
TRIANGLE – TRICYCLE – TRIPOD
A triangle must have three sides. If this mathematical figure lacked one of these three sides, it would just be an angle, or if it had four sides it would a rectangle.
A tricycle must have three wheels. If it had only two wheels it would be a bicycle, and if it had four wheels it could be a wagon or a car.
A tripod must have three legs. It would not be able to stand if it just had two legs, while if there were four legs it would be a table.
My favorite “tri” word is TRINITY. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The word trinity combines “tri” for three and “unity” for one. As the words of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy state, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.”
Try for Tri as 3 in 1 Images
Let’s expand our “tri” thinking a bit more. What images come to your mind when you think of things that are composed of three parts, or are in a sense, 3 in 1?
APPLE – EARTH – EAR
When I think of an apple, I think of a round piece of fruit. However, if I cut it into two pieces, I see this piece of fruit really has three parts: the skin, the flesh or meat, and the seeds.
When I think of the earth, I visualize the round sphere as one of the planets. However, if I study science, I learn that the earth is made up of land, sea and sky.
My favorite “tri” example of a 3 in 1 image is the TRINITY as portrayed in the drawing to the right. C.S. Lewis said, “One reason I believe in the Trinity is that no human could have thought it up.”
Try for Tri in Me
To find the best example of how God reveals Himself as the Trinity, I look no further than to my body. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” I notice that when God speaks of Himself in this verse, He uses the pronoun “us.” This refers to God in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, my Reader, what is the most evident way that we are made in the image of God? We are created with body, soul and spirit!
BODY – SOUL – SPIRIT
When thinking of my complete makeup, my first impression of myself is that of my body because it is the physical part that is most evident to my eyes. Next, I think of my soul being defined as being mind, will and emotions. Here again I see another example of the trinity within the threefold design. Finally I focus upon my spirit which is my innermost being and the part of me that will live forever after physical death. I find an excellent example of how God perceives my totality in Matthew 9:20-22. The story is about the woman who has been sick because of bleeding for twelve years. When she touches the hem of Jesus’ garment, she is told that her faith has made her well. The Greek work for well that is used here is “sozo” which refers to wholeness. She was seeking healing for her body and she received it. This is entirely biblical because in Exodus 15:26, God says, “I am the Lord who heals you.” However, she also received spiritual life through faith. John 3:1-21 is the most familiar scriptural passage about a person’s spirit needing to be born again. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” When Adam and Eve sinned, the spirit of all people died and that is why I must be born again. My body may need to be healed while my spirit must be born again. Now I come to the third part of my image in the likeness to God which is my soul. In Psalm 23:3, David says that the Lord restores his soul. To restore my soul means that God works with me to bring back my soul to its proper function. As I stated earlier, because of the first sin mankind’s spirit died and when that happened the soul tried to take the place of the spirit. I think of an equilateral triangle that has three equal sides. God created me to have three equal parts of body, soul, and spirit. However, when the spirit died, the soul grew to take its place. The body stayed the same size because the nature of its physical being did not allow for a change of size. So now that the spirit is born again and is growing into its rightful size and purpose, the soul must be diminished. This is why it can be so hard for me to be led by the Holy Spirit because my spirit has not always had its rightful place and I have allowed my mind and will and emotions to rule my thinking and acting.
Just as the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit work in unity, so must the parts of my body, soul and spirit work together in unity. “Tri” in me is evidence that I am made in the image of the Triune God!
As I bring this blog to a conclusion, I want to let you, my Reader, know that this is the first of a trilogy (another “tri” word) of blogs on the Trinity. You may be asking why I am spending so much time with this topic.? My response is that I wish to glorify God by sharing with you my understanding of this unique concept of the Christian faith. This week I hope to help you, my Reader, gain a better understanding of the Trinity through encouraging you to become aware of God’s image and presence around you and in you. God reveals Himself to us in ways that we may easily overlook. Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Just look around you and see if you can behold a new insight of how God is showing Himself to you. God may be working in you in ways you do not perceive.
In closing, I want you, my Reader, to remember that Deuteronomy 6:4 says that our is one. Yet, He has chosen to reveal Himself as three in one to us. With these thoughts in mind, here is one last “tri” image from scripture that I would like to share with you. It is found in Matthew 3: 16&17,:
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Challenge for the week: Please respond to me other “tri” images or words that you become aware of this week. Watch next week for the responses that I receive.