Freerange Friday: Embracing the Mystery

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin

In liturgical churches, it is Trinity Sunday this weekend.

The Trinity….The Three in One, The One in Three.
Father
Son
Holy Spirit

As a Celtic Christian, I value the unique persons of the Trinity, but I haven’t always thought this way. As I said last week, in the church of my childhood, we never talked about the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit was the Holy Ghost, you never saw or heard about. In college, I experienced the gifts of the Spirit for the first time. This was to the chagrin of my high school Bible Study teacher who told our group “the Gifts” weren’t for today. In my 20’s I worked on staff at a pentecostal church where the Holy Spirit was alive and exciting, but sometimes too much for some of us. I later worked at a liturgical church where started my prayers with “Father God,” and got in trouble with the senior pastor. He didn’t like it that I prayed that way. I told him that it had taken me a long time and a great deal of therapy on my dad issues to get to Father God, so he would have to deal with it.

What about you? What’s been your experience with the Trinity?

Do you tend to pray in a certain way?
Do you have a hard time with one of the members of the Trinity?

We often focus on Jesus and forget about God the Father because God is too scary, or too old, or we’ve seen God as too male. Maybe like me, it’s taken you awhile to get to Father God. Or perhaps you’ve had a bad experience at a church because of the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, or you’ve felt shame or inferior because you haven’t experienced gifts like tongues or healing. Take time to give these concerns and this “trinity baggage” to Jesus so carry and heal.

Since it’s Trinity Sunday this weekend, I’d like to invite us to embrace the mystery of the Trinity. And be open to looking at all three persons in the coming days.
Richard Rohr says that God is Mystery. “Mystery doesn’t mean something you cannot understand. Mystery means something you can endlessly understand, you can never say,
“i got it”, there is always more, there’s always more!”
What does it look like for you embrace all three? Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Which person of the Trinity would you like to begin to learn more about?

I listened to Father Rohr’s homily this past week, and he has a Litany of the Holy Spirit where he lists 65 names for the Holy Spirit. It’s a beautiful prayer reflection where Rohr invites us to consider which name/attribute speaks to us. You can listen to this podcast here.

You can also listen to an earlier version of this sermon here.

I invite you to pick one or two of the names of the Holy Spirit and sit with them. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Write them down, journal from them. or create a sketch or take a photo to represent this name or attribute. (this list is a few from Richard Rohr’s homily)

Eternal Praise

Reminder of the Mystery

Implanted Pacemaker

Compassionate Observer

God Compass

Inner Breath

Hidden Love of God

Implanted Hope

Nonviolence of God

Father and Mother of Orphans

Great Bridge Builder

What images speak to you of the Trinity?

As I was thinking about this post, I opened a book called, Space for God by Don Postema
This is a study on prayer with art and poetry. The page I opened to was
Rembrandt’s Three Trees!
Perfect! It spoke loudly to me of The Trinity…life, growing, breathing, beauty!

Google The Trinity and use an image that speaks to you to consider the three persons of the Trinity. I found this great mural created by students at a school in Nottingham England. Learn more here.

Taste and See the Trinity

I once had a senior high student give the sermon on Trinity Sunday and she invited us to consider WATER as our image of the Trinity. WATER : H20 being God the Father, Boiling water, making Steam representing the Holy Spirit, and freezing it into ice cubes, representing the touchable, tangible person of Jesus. She suggested that we use all ice water that summer to remind us of the Trinity!

I love this! and I love that you can talk about this easily with kids! You could even make ice tea together! Boiling the water and adding the teabag for the Holy Spirit. And Adding the Ice to the Tea to represent Jesus. And talking about God the Father being the Living Water.

Finally, I’ve always loved this Icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev. It’s my reminder that The Trinity is all about community!

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit created the universe together and invite us to live and love and create in community too! The Trinity reminds us that we are created for community, and we need to learn to live and love more intentionally as one in three and three in one!  Embrace the Mystery of God this weekend! Ask the Trinity to help you!

©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com

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