Water – drinking it is only second to breathing air as necessary for human life. The earth is covered in water over 70% of its surface. Our body largely consists of water. In the womb we are suspended in water. When we are baptized, we emerge from water, re-born. Water is the essence of our physical being.
This past week we celebrated the mystery of the Holy Trinity – One God, Three Persons. Most of it is too deep for me to hold on to, and is normally where my faith needs to fill in the gaps. But, a few years ago it came to me that there is a very common physical element that can be used as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity – water. I don’t know of any other natural element that can exist on the surface of the planet in all three physical states: solid/ice, liquid/water, gas/vapor. And can you think of a more appropriate metaphor? So, although the essence of water is the same on an atomic level, its physical properties can vary depending on its surroundings, and how or what is interacting with it. Sounds a little like God to me. The essence of God exists in all Three of the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit. C.S. Lewis puts it this way:
“…The ordinary Christian begins to enter into the life of the three personal God when he draws near to Christ and begins to pray to the Father through Christ – using Christ as our mediator. So when you pray it is God the Spirit inside that motivates you, it is Christ standing beside you, supporting you, and it is God the Father receiving that prayer. All united as one to help us in our relationship with Him…“
(I thought that this clip of our visit to Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel might be an appropriate image. I felt that the juxtaposition of the great expanse of the Mediterranean Sea and Herod’s aqueduct built 2000 years ago was pretty ironic.)