Counting to Three

Submitted by Judith Gotwald

 

Theme: Trinity Sunday
Object: None needed, but a tricycle or a picture of a tricycle could be helpful. Also a small sign with the word TRINITY and the word TRICYCLE could be used. Set the letters TRI in a different color if you can.
Scripture: Matthew 28:19

How many of you can count to three? I knew you could. That was a silly question. Three is an important number today.

Today is called Trinity Sunday. It is spelled TRINITY. (Show TRINITY sign.) When you see the letters TRI at the beginning of a word, it's a clue that the word might have something to do with the number three. Can you think of another word that starts with the letters TRI? There are lots of them.

I am thinking today of the word Tricycle. (Show TRICYCLE sign.) Have you ever ridden a tricycle? The word TRIcycle begins with those three letters -- TRI. What is there about a tricycle that involves the number THREE?

That's right! A tricycle has three wheels.

When you are very little the first cycle your parents might give you probably has three wheels. Why? Because tricycles are easier to ride than bicycles with two wheels and a lot easier to ride that unicycles which have only one wheel. Having three wheels helps you learn to ride and it is easier to keep your balance.

So let's get back to the word we started talking about -- the word TRINITY. This is a word we use to describe God. We worship ONE God. But as we grow up and learn about God we find it is easier to understand God when we think about God in three ways.

What are the first words of the Lord's Prayer? Our father . . . .
One way to understand God is to think of God as a father. God takes care of us like a father. He watches over us and provides for us, just like a Dad. But while we need a father to take care of us we also need friends who are more like us.

When we close our prayers we often say . . . We pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. We understand that Jesus Christ was God's Son and entirely of God. Jesus lived on earth. He was more like a friend. He walked among people. He listened to them, worked with them, healed them and helped them with their troubles. That's an important part of being God, too.

So now we have a God who is a Father (that's one) and God who is a Son (that's two). We need three to make the Trinity.

God has one more side and that side is the part we don't see so much, but we can feel it. That part is called the Holy Spirit. You might remember that we talked last week about Pentecost when God sent the Holy Spirit into the apostles and gave them the power and strength they needed to do God's work. The Holy Spirit is a third way of understanding God.

So there, we have three ways of thinking about God. God is our Father, who takes care of us. God is Jesus, his son and our friend. And God is the Holy Spirit, which gives power. It's easier to understand God when we think about these three ideas. That's like riding the tricycle. But it is also important that God is ONE God. While each of these three wheels are turning, taking us on an exciting ride through faith, we are riding on one TRICYCLE. That's what Trinity means. One word. One God. Three ways of knowing God.