Ask the student what they think the following icon is about
Afterward tell them it is about:
Biblical References to Trinity
Go over the first reference together. Then have them split in 2 groups and identify the Trinity in the other 2 references.
- Genesis 1:26
- God’s creation of the world
- Note the “us” / “our” in the statement — showing plural…not singular
- Matthew 3:16-17
- Matthew 28:19
- Ask the group what is the context of this verse. When is this in Jesus’s life?
Liturgical Reference – Epiclesis
Deacon: How solemn is this occasion, and how awe-full this time, my beloved, wherein the living Holy Spirit comes down fluttering from the most elevated heights of heaven, and broods upon this Eucharist that is set, hallowing it: stand ye still in reverence and pray.
Priest: Answer me, O Lord; answer me, O Lord; answer me, O Lord; O Good One, have compassion and mercy upon us.
Priest: And may He perfect this bread as the Body of Christ our God.
Priest: And may He change the mixture in this cup to the Blood of Christ our God.
Priest: So that they may be unto all who partake of them for the absolution of their debts and may they inherit eternal life by them so they may offer You praise and thanksgiving to Your Only-begotten Son and to Your Holy Spirit, now, always and forever.
Ask the students where is this in the liturgy?
Ask the students to identify the Trinity in this prayer?
Point out that “Epiclesis” == Invocation of the Holy Spirit
Liturgical Reference – Kaumo
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit….
Liturgical Reference – Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
This prayer is known as the “Jesus Prayer” – very common in the Orthodox Church
- In the Syriac Church… we simplify it even further – ask kids if they know what it is?
- A prayer that can be repeated over and over… to mediate our minds on… til it becomes the cry of our heart too.
- Even this most basic prayer has elements of the Trinity (See 1 Corinthians 12:3)
- Source: The Orthodox Way
God is “Love”
There is in God genuine diversity as well as true unity. …. He is triunity: 3 equal persons, each one dwelling in the other 2 by virtue of an unceasing movement of mutual love. Amo ergo sum, “I love, therefore I am”
… Love cannot exist in isolation, but presupposes the other.
~ The Orthodox Way – pg 33,35
We often say “God is love”
- But love requires 2 persons – the person who gives the love and the receiver of the love
- If God existed before anything else, where is love? Trinity allows for this…
Nicene Creed & Trinity
Begotten, not made
Being of one substance / essence
Proceeds from the Father
Ask the students how many parts/paragraphs are in the Nicene Creed – ask what is the main point of each paragraph.
Ask the students which paragraph each of of the above statements are from.
There is between the three a sharing and a differentiation that are beyond words and understanding. ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa
The Trinity is not a philosophical theory but the living God whom we worship; and so there comes a point in our approach to the Trinity where argumentation and anaylsis must give place to wordless prayer. “Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and stand with fear and trembling (Liturgy of St James)”. ~ The Orthodox Way (book by Kalistos Ware)
The Trinity is a mystery. No matter how many explanations we have, we will never fully grasp it. If we understood it –> then it is not God.
- The Trinity is like the Sun (Heat/Light)
- The Trinity is like Water/Ice/Steam
- The Trinity is like a Circuit (battery, wire, bulb)
- The Trinity is like a Dimension of a Cube
We have various analogies of the Trinity. None are perfect…but can help us understand a little bit about the Trinity.
Exit Ticket Questions
Ask the following questions to review the lesson.
- Name 3 reference to the Trinity in the Bible
- Name 2 reference in our prayers
- What is the difference between begotten and born?
- Name 3 analogies on the Trinity
- Why are these not perfect?
PPT to possible use in class: