Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

"God Is a Party, and You're Invited"

Perhaps the best analogy for the Trinity is a time when you experienced a community of love. Maybe a family when it was at its most healthy and loving. A sports team when people stopped worrying about their own egos. A support group where you felt cared for in spite of your brokenness. A music group when you finally got lost in the music. Because to experience the Trinity is to experience a community of love.

So when I think of analogies of the Trinity, I think of Mike Yearley's apartment. When I came to Wheaton, I moved 700 miles from family. Back then, there was no email, no instant messages, no cell phone. My college roommate hung out by himself. My first winter, it snowed 90 inches. I felt like I was living in the Arctic. So I was lonely and, literally, out in the cold.

Then a senior guy named Mike Yearley invited me to his apartment for dinner and a Bible study. I got there, and the first thing I noticed was that his apartment had real walls made out of dry wall, not cinder blocks painted over too many times.

His wife, Lin, was cooking a home-cooked meal—I could smell it as soon as I walked in the door—and it tasted way better than anything from the college cafeteria. There were other people there, too—a guy named Dave, and another named Dan, who were upperclassmen and popular. They would never have spent time with me, or even known who I was, but because I'd been invited in to Mike's apartment, they talked with me. We all talked and laughed and played games and listened to music and drank coffee and hung out till super late. And as I walked home with Dan, I thought: Wow. No one's got a huge, bloated ego. They just care about each other.

That apartment became my home and my sanity. Whenever I had a question or problem about dating, I would head to Mike's apartment. Whenever I had a question or problem about my spiritual life, I would head to Mike's apartment. At the time, I was trying to live my Christian life in a legalistic way, in my own power, which is a really stinky way to do it. But I didn't know any other way.

So Mike and Dan began teaching me how to live by the power of the Holy Spirit within. What I found in Mike's apartment was this community of love. What I felt there was a little picture of what Jesus talked about when he said: "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." To be a Christian is to get an invitation to Mike's apartment. To be a Christian is to be invited into the Community of Love we call the Trinity. In the Trinity, you never find one Person who's grumpy. Never find a Person who is taking love but not giving it out. No one's critical or cynical or jaded.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit live in absolute unity of love. The Father glorifies the Son. The Son gives glory to the Father. The Spirit knows the thoughts of God and prays to God for our sake. The Father has all authority, yet he gives that authority to the Son, and the Spirit speaks on God's authority. Meanwhile, the Son lives in absolute obedience to the Father, for the Son does only what he sees the Father doing. And the Spirit is sent by the Father in the name of Jesus.

Do you see that in the Trinity there's no jealousy, no politics, no power plays? The reason we can't find many good analogies for the Trinity is that we constantly live in such broken relationships that it's hard for us to imagine a Community in which there's constant joy and creativity and each Person pouring himself out for the others. It sounds crazy, but I think it would be theologically accurate to say: "God is a party, and you're invited."

Related Sermon Illustrations

Our Trinitarian Personhood

In his book Ministry in the Image of God, Stephen Seamands writes about the relational side of our personhood, which reflects the Trinitarian nature of God. In fact, Seamands calls ...

[Read More]

Being a Person in Community

Nancy Ortberg shares a story of how her daughter's concern for the wider church community spoke a word of conviction into Nancy's own heart:

One evening, my oldest daughter ...
[Read More]