Explaining the Holy Trinity to children and new believers can be difficult. St Patrick was said to have used the shamrock, with its three leaves attached to the same stem.

What follows is another — and for me, more useful — way. It comes from a lady named Sue whose brother is a Lutheran pastor. At the last minute, he was asked to preach on Trinity Sunday at his family’s church because their pastor had laryngitis.  This is how he explained the Holy Trinity (emphases mine):

He set out 3 small bowls. He cracked an egg, separated the white from the yolk, placed them in 2 of the bowls, and the shell in the third. He then asked the children which was the egg (which of course brought out all kinds of interesting responses). He used this illustration to explain the Trinity. I think even the adults in the congregation were enlightened by his talk. The children certainly learned something that day.

The parts of an egg are inseparable — the shell, yolk and white are all component parts. Without any one of them, there would be no egg. The same is true of the divine mystery of the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are integral — not three different Gods, but three-in-one.

Tomorrow: An Anglican rector on the correct understanding of the Trinity