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The Living Shamrock: The Mystery of the Holy Trinity


Everyone knows what a shamrock is. But does everyone know what those three leaves represent? Did you know that it is tied to Christian traditions and Biblical teachings? I found out very recently that Saint Patrick used this emblem to illustrate the concept of the Trinity when sharing the Gospel with the Irish in the 5thCentury. The concept of the Trinity is one of the basic doctrines of Christian theology, but it is also one of the most mysterious doctrines that many of us have a hard time comprehending. (But that is a good thing!) How amazing is it that we serve a God that is so vast, so powerful, and works beyond any of our human conception? What a blessing it is that God is so infinite that His ways cannot be explained by human logic. How can the finite human mind conceive of something so divine, mysterious, and complex as a God who exists in three different, functional forms?


The doctrine of the Trinity is based on the notion that there is only one God, yet God exists in three different persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.


Saint Patrick reasoned that each leaf of the shamrock represents each of the three distinct persons of the Holy Trinity. God exists as our Father in Heaven, revealed in the Old Testament as our Lord, Creator, and Judge; God exists as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who existed on Earth in the flesh; and God also exists as the Holy Spirit, who fills every Christian with new life and power and serves as our helper, comforter, and corrector:



But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.- John 14:26 (AMPC)


The concept of the Trinity is nonsensical when perceived by human logic; how can three distinct persons add up to one being? How can we serve only one God, yet distinct persons are God? The important thing to remember, as Christians, is that God’s ways are not our ways; in fact, they are much higher than ours. Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” The doctrine of the Trinity, as demonstrated by the Shamrock, is only a sketch to attempt to explain the unexplainable: the mystery of God. Since most of us cannot understand this concept in a logical sense, this enables us to stand in awe of the mystery of God and know that His nature is way beyond what our human minds can grasp; and in that, God is glorified.


Even though the curious doctrine of the Trinity is hard to understand with our human rationale, the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual knowledge of this doctrine that has been revealed to us in His word in order for us to come into fellowship with God.


The following are just a few scriptures that support the doctrine of the Trinity:


“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”1 Corinthians 8:6


“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”- 2 Corinthians 13:14


“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14


I and the Father are one.”- John 10:30


“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”- Luke 1:35



2 Responses

  1. Amen! There are some things pertaining to God and the way He chooses to do things and answer our prayers that simply must be left up to the Divine Mystery. We sometimes simply cannot attain to the knowledge He has of a situation or the way it should turn out in the end; but we nevertheless must trust Him at all times that He only has our best end in His mind. Good word! 🙂