I'm on a mission to try to explain the Trinity simply and clearly. Easy, you might say. Just talk about God being like the cloverleaf – three leaves in one or water which can be in three states: steam, water or ice.
Well, I hope I can do better than that. There is no concept of 'personhood' or 'love' in a clover leaf or water. There must be a better way.
So, I want you to imagine three church chairs stacked up. Clearly, we have the threeness here, but it is hard to see Father Son and Holy Spirit sitting on top of one another! Let's separate them into a line. That is better, but the back chair still doesn't relate to the front. Ok, we put the three chairs in a triangle. Yes, that works. The three chairs are facing one another. But there is still no concept of personhood. Let's add three people to the chairs. Now we have personhood, but the people are not related to one another. So what about a family – father, mother and a child? Yes, that seems ok, but the three are not co-equal in size. I know – father, mother and adult child. There is still a problem. Yes, the father and mother share DNA with the adult child, but they won't have any DNA shared between them. Identical triplets then. My goodness, this is getting difficult.
Let's assume identical triplets then. If they could hold hands in such a way that they manage to grip the other two that would be good. Are we there?
Unfortunately not. The Trinity is united and loves sharing constantly. How can we express that? Spin the chairs like in a fairground. Now, this is getting ridiculous.
I give up!
The truth is that it is impossible to fully express the depth and dynamic nature of the Trinty – the Godhead with a symbol, drama, or picture. Everything we do falls short.
And that is how God has meant it to be - the personhood of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If God has no mystery to us and we know everything about him, then we become God ourselves, and it doesn't take much to see what a disaster that would be.
So instead – relax and enjoy God's unfathomable mystery knowing He is with us and loves us deeply.