We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
How many times have we said this in the creed? I reckon I must have said it over 500 times.
How many times have we really thought about what it means? Once, twice, ten times?
Do we know its meaning well enough to explain this central fact of our faith to children? Anyone else feeling the fear?
This week God answered my desperate prayer for help preparing a session for God Squad with "do The Trinity."
I obviously thanked Him profusely and set down to work like a good LLM.
Er No, I didn't; I went back to prayer and asked for something easier. Guess what didn't appear. So tentatively I prepared a session on The Trinity.
The great thing about kids work at a church like ours is the fact that I know the kids really well. They are like family. This means I have them in mind when preparing a session; I know I need something which will appeal to the full range of learning styles and personalities (aged 4-10). It also means that I have experienced their questions about big subjects like this; and that's where I'm starting with the session.
In order to answer the questions they've voiced and which we've all asked ourselves, I collated some practical ways of explaining the trinity.
1. The water illustration
Water has three states.
It can be liquid - first form - Father
It can be ice - solid form - Jesus
It can be gas - invisible - Holy Spirit
2. Light of the World
Hold three very thin lit candles together so it looks like one candle and one flame. Now separate the candles to show there are 3 distinct bodies each with its own flame which is part of the whole.
3. The word of God
Think of a word.
Speak the word onto your hand.
The thought of the word = Father
The spoken word = Jesus
The breath of it = Holy Spirit
4. Plaited threads
Three threads of different colours
Plait them together - one God
Separate the colours - three parts
5. Mind, body and soul
We have a mind, body and soul
Mind = Father - thoughts & actions
Body = Jesus - had a body
Soul = Holy Spirit - what we are
6. We all have a role in life
I have a role, you have a role.
God the Father = creator
Jesus the Son = became man
Holy Spirit = gives breath and church