The Reading: Colossians 1:3-8
“… of God … of Christ … in the Spirit.” (vv. 6-7) RSV
Things come in threes very often in this world. We speak of “third time lucky” or “trouble always comes in threes” or a three-leafed clover. The Greeks felt that ‘three’ was a profound number and was represented by a triangle. Perhaps three is deeply imbedded in creation since it is an extension of the threefold nature of God.
The doctrine of the Trinity is not found plainly stated in the Bible, and indeed it is fairly tortuous to explain it and defend it. Such talk of ‘essence’ or ‘substance’ seems to bring a foreign element into God whom we believe to be ‘spirit’.
But there is no doubt that the three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are one in relationship and one in activity. As Jesus said: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and elsewhere, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). There are many similar texts that could be quoted.
Today’s reading gives us a natural linkage of the three persons of the Godhead. Paul speaks of the “grace of God” (v.6) and of “Christ” (v.7), and of “love in the Spirit” all in the same breath. The triune God is perfectly blended in harmonious activity.
In turn, we respond by being drawn to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. There is only one God and he draws us by “grace” (v.6) and by “love; (v.7). God so loved the world that he sent his only Son (John 3:16), so that we might be convicted by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8).
Great is the mystery of this Faith. But unless the pure and perfect God comes down in person to save us, then there is no hope. If he simply tells us to be good then we are lost!
Thank you Lord that your plan and purpose are perfect. Who could have dreamt it? You are indeed three in one. Amen.
1 Can you spot the Three in the passage below?
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
2 See how often the Three are closely linked.
2 Corinthians 13:14