white candles on black surface

, | 16 May 2022 | by GEM


by Debby Nichols

Key Verse:  And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.

– Luke 3:22, NASB (1995)

This last week we hosted a friend who has converted from Christianity to Judaism. Among the many topics we dug into was the topic of the Trinity. I had been having my own internal conversations and thoughts about the Trinity the past few weeks, so the topic piqued my interest. After having traversed much ground regarding Jewish theology, the idea that God exists without part of whom I believe Him to be, made me rather sad. To think that Jesus the Christ is not a part of who God is, gave me a sense of incompleteness. The whole conversation touched me so much that I found myself wrestling with God during the following night. I was up a few hours imagining how my life would be if the aspect of God, the one that I as a human being can identify with most personally, did not exist. Or what if the Holy Spirit did not indwell me, calling me to a posture of listening? And what if the Father who ordained my days and set everything into motion was not? The questions were many in my mind.

While I understand that the word Trinity is not stated as such in Scripture, it seems clear to me that the truth of God being one and yet also a community of three, is present in Scripture. Clearly, that concept may be difficult for a Jew to understand without giving the Messiah the power to accomplish fully the task for which he was ordained; Immanuel: God with us.

I certainly am not a theologian and so I need things simple in that department. When I read verses such as in Luke 3:22 I love how God has made a way for me to visualize his complex and beautiful nature.

“And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him [Jesus] in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My [the Father’s] beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Wow. What a moment! This is not the first time all three are mentioned and are experienced together all at once, but to my mind it is a most memorable and profound event.

I love the way communion is depicted here. Communion, community, things humans deeply desire. We have a longing inside of us for being with.  And why not? If we are made in the image of God, well then we innately have the desires of God. One of those desires is for community. Being together and being one, just as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are together and are one.

And so I continue my pondering knowing full well that my understanding of the complexity of who God is, will only be satisfied when some day I stand before Him in His glory, His human likeness and His spirit.

Reflection Verse

Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.

–  Isaiah 48:16, NASB (1995)

Reflection Questions

  • When  have you wrestled with the three-in-one? How does your view of the Trinity affect your interaction with God? How can you notice each person of the Trinity in your daily life?

  • If you have a candle with three wicks, use this as a visual to invite God the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit into your times of prayer. As the wax begins to melt and you can no longer see the three pools of wax because they have become one, sit and ponder how this may be an example (even if not a perfect one)  of how the trinity works together. The three flames move together as the breezes come and go and the wax is all mixed together so that you cannot see where one begins and one ends.