There was a missionary who worked in the villages in Africa. At one time, when he was home in England on a short vacation, he happened to run across a beautiful sundial. He thought to himself, “This sundial would be ideal for the people in Africa who live in the villages. I could teach them to tell the time of day.” So the missionary bought the sundial and brought it back with him to Africa.
When the people in Africa saw this sundial, they set it up in the center of the village. The people were thrilled with this sundial; they had never seen anything so beautiful. They were even more thrilled when they learned how it worked. The missionary was very happy to see how the people responded. Unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared for what happened a few days later. The people in the village wanted to see that the sundial was always protected, so they got together and built a roof over it.
It’s obvious that the people in the village didn’t fully understand everything about this sundial. But is the mistake they made something we all might do? Instead of trying to understand something that might be difficult to understand, might we just put a roof over it?
Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; the three in one. This whole idea is something that’s a little too much for us to humanly understand. That’s why when we pray, we pray to God and ask for His help. There may be other times when we pray to Jesus or even times when we turn to the Holy Spirit. But do we ever pray to the three of them together, or have we put a roof over this idea of the Trinity?
A way we can try and get a better understanding of the Trinity is by finding references made to the Trinity in the Bible. A good example, and I believe the clearest reference, is the Baptism of Jesus. Immediately after Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in the form of a dove. Then a voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”
We can also find reference made to the Trinity in today’s gospel. Jesus says to His disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
So how can we take the roof off the Trinity and make it more a part of our life? How can we pray to the Trinity? We can start by thanking God for everything good we have in our life, which is a true example of God’s love for us. Then we can think of any way we have fallen to sin and talk to Jesus about this, asking for forgiveness. Then we can think of any challenges we may be facing or we’re going to face and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.
In this way we can grow both in our faith and in our prayer life. Because we will still be praying to God, but we’ll also be praying to the entire three in one. Then we can take the roof off the Trinity.
Sincerely in Christ,