Notes following Trinity Sunday

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Small Group Material: 
Week Commencing: 
19 Jun 2011
Bible Base: 
Isaiah 40:25-end, John 14:5-10, Romans 8:9-11

1)      Ask people for any pictures or images that help them imagine the Trinity.
2)      Which person of the Trinity do they each find easiest to relate to?
3)      Have a look at the Apostles Creed (if you can find a copy). Point out its Trinitarian structure. Does it explain the Trinity or describe what each person of the Trinity does? The early church came to understand the Trinity through their experience of God.
4)      Adrian Plass has a character called Frank Braddock who says this about the Trinity:-
“There are four things I like about the Trinity. First, I love having a father in God. Second, I love having a friend and brother in Jesus. Third, I love having a comforter and guide in the Holy Spirit. And fourth....I love the fact that it’s a mystery. God in three persons. Three persons – one God. It’s a mystery and I love it. Why would I want to spoil things by trying to explain it.”[1] Discuss
5)      Read Isaiah 40:25-end
6)      When do you get the most sense of the greatness of God?
7)      Some people think that because God is so great, he can’t be bothered about us. How does Isaiah answer that?
8)      Theologian Ted Peters says that God as Trinity is both Beyond and Intimate. When do you experience God as ‘beyond’? When do you experience God as ‘intimate’?
9)      Read John 14:5-10. Some people who have had a bad experience of an earthly father find it difficult to relate to God as Father. How does this passage help?
10)   Read Romans 8:9-11. How is the Spirit described here (whose Spirit is he)? How can this help people who are scared of the work of the Holy Spirit?
11)   When we say three persons but one God, this reminds us that although God is three persons, those persons share the same character and purposes. Sometimes it is easier for people to trust Jesus than the Father or the Spirit – but they share the same character. If you can trust Jesus, you can also trust the Father and the Spirit.
12)   People sometimes ask why Christians make God so complicated – all this Trinity stuff. Alister McGrath argues that the Christian God involves himself with creation – he becomes human to redeem us, and he lives in us by his Spirit. He says that you can either have a god whom you can understand but who can’t come and help us, or the Trinitarian God whom you cannot understand, but who can come and help us. Which do you prefer?
13)   Finally (if you are still with us) – God as Trinity reminds us of the importance of relationship with others. God as Trinity is about relationship – and he invites us to join the relationship. Two pictures of this: Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity has 3 figures sat around a table – the fourth side of the table faces the viewer of the icon, inviting us to join in their relationship. A second picture is to view the Trinity as a dance, which has the unity of the dance and the diversity of the different persons dancing. And again we are invited to join the dance.

[1] Adrian Plass The Horizontal Epistles of Andromeda Veal (Marshall Pickering 1988) p 110