Did you ever notice how many things in life are in three’s?
In school we all learned from the three R’s - reading, writing arithmetic.
There were 3 Little Kittens, 3 Blind Mice, 3 Little Pigs. 3 bags full in Ba, Ba Black Sheep.
Three monkeys told three things - hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
There were 3 stooges and Goldilocks ran into 3 bears.
Maybe when you were a kid you got to go see the 3 ring circus.
There are 3 feet in a yard and a summer picnic favorite is the 3 bean salad.
Kenny Rodgers sang about; once, twice, three times a lady.
There are three outs and three bases to travel around in a baseball game.
Three goals in a hockey ‘hat-trick’ and three minutes in a boxing round.
Yesterday’s Belmont Stakes was the last of 3 legs in horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Time and our existence is marked in 3 things - past, present, future.
The 3 primary colors are - Red, Yellow and Blue.
There are 3 levels in the earth - the Core, Mantle and Crust.
We can now watch movies in what they call 3-D….the three dimensions.
Columbus discovered America using 3 ships - Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria
Our government is set up with three branches - Executive, Legislative, Judicial.
The constitution begins with 3 basic rights - Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness.
When Jesus was born he was visited by 3 Wise Men, bringing 3 gifts.
He was tempted by Satan in the dessert three different times.
And he rose from the grave on what they called the third day.
Why do so many things come in ‘3’ we might legitimately wonder?
Scientists might have one answer, psychologists might offer another.
Theologians certainly have their opinions about the concept of 3 in the bible.
But the number three certainly seems to be significant to us as human beings.
Once a guy gave me his business card that had the numbers 1,2,3,4 on the front.
When you said to people “pick one”, they almost without fail would always pick ‘3’.
On the back of the card it said “Why 3?”,….as if to say ‘I knew you’d select that’.
Of all the many religions in the world, some have multiple gods, like Hinduism.
And the ones we know best and are closest to, Judaism and Islam, cite the one God.
But Christianity is different in that we speak of God as being One in 3 persons.
And pastors every year on this day try to explain that to their people.
Truth is, it was even hard for those who arrived at the concept to articulate it.
And the truth also is, its always hard for most of us to really understand it.
I think, although doctrine says so, we mostly don’t think of God being 3 distinct persons.
But I think that the Trinity does help us see how God works in the world.
We heard in Genesis how God the Father worked at being the creator of all things.
And not just the earthly things, but also God created you and me;…. each of us.
We tend to think of God the Father as a sort of be all to end all in the control room.
God the Son, Jesus Christ, is how God came to be with us and share this world with us.
Share in it’s good things but also its bad and, really, the worst things, that the world has.
The Trinity says that Jesus was actually God himself coming to work on fixing the world.
And then the Spirit of God is given by Jesus to his disciples before he ascends.
He tells them that the Spirit will help them continue this work.
So that, through the Spirit, God keeps on working in the world today, through us.
It helps me more to think of the Trinity of how God functions than to describe his being.
Thinking of one being in three different manifestations, yet undivided, etc…..well…..
that’s kind of a hard concept to get our brains around.
Three people all working for the same purpose at different times and places.
But then an idea came to me of another three who worked together: the 3 Musketeers!
They were three different people who were all of the same mindset.
And that mindset of theirs was captured in the saying “One for and all for one”.
Each one working at different times and places and in different ways,…..
but all for the same purpose and all supporting one another in the work.
And they too, were about accomplishing good in a corrupt world!
In that story, there was actually a fourth guy who was drawn to the Musketeers.
His name was D’Artagnan and he ended up partnering with the three in their work.
Although he was not allowed to join up with them yet,….he still worked with them.
He followed their lead as they set out to accomplish their good work in the world.
That’s where the Trinity idea comes home to be a reality with us.
Just like in that story, we are drawn into partnering with God’s three persons.
To accomplish his will and good in the world wherever and whenever we can.
We cannot join up with them yet,…..but someday we will for sure.
So don’t let the Trinity idea throw you into a tizzy and pull you away from the idea.
Think of the three as crusaders for goodness in the world, all serving the same task.
Working to make us and the world a better place,….even perfect, like it’s supposed to be.
Like it was when all the work began.
And everybody got a 3 Musketeers bar to help them remember this sermon!