The Shamrock Word on the Week 19th March 2022.
It was found beside the cattle pen amongst the first flush of Spring grass. A tiny shamrock which immediately brought to mind the Aer Lingus logo which graces the tail plane of their fleet of aircraft!
Of course it was inspired by St Patrick’s adoption of the plant as a teaching aid.
When St Patrick arrived in Ireland in the year 431 there were many triple deities. These were worshipped as one. The formation of the shamrock with its three leaves growing from one stem gave a physical representation to the teaching of the Christian trinity. Thus the difficult concept of three persons in one was taught.
This, in the words of J.I. Packer, the Trinity is a divine mystery without parallel!
There is no way the shamrock can show the personality of each member of the Trinity. Nor is it possible to explain that each of the three persons is fully God and not one third of God.
We ourselves are people. We ourselves are created in the image of God. And we can understand people relating to each other. We do it all the time! Just as we relate to people in a personal way believers enter, by the Spirit, into a personal relationship of trust in the Father through the Son which is the hallmark of true Biblical faith (Romans Chapter 8 verses 15 to 17).
It is good to remember when Jesus was in trouble he used the personal word of ‘Abba’ which could translate as Daddy (St Mark Chapter 14 verse 36). And when the Apostle Paul is describing life in the family of God he emphasises our relationship by his use of the word ‘Abba’. We too call upon our heavenly Daddy in our prayers and in times of trouble.
Let us give the last word to the Saint – part of the hymn known as St Patrick’s
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation;
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.