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James HendersonThought for the WeekMasks And Persons

Masks And PersonsHello.

It looks like we’re all back to wearing masks again.

I have three of them. One depicts dinosaurs and it delights my grandchildren but for others it just confirms my status – I’m an old dinosaur that should be extinct!! The second is of the sky at night and shows various constellations against a blue background. The third looks very surgical, as if the wearer should be in an episode of ER (for the dinosaurs among us) or, for the slightly more up to date, Grey’s Anatomy.

But no matter which mask I use, most people realise that it is obviously me behind them! It reminds me a little of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Scholars sometimes muddle the concept by using difficult words and phrases, but in one way it's quite simple. The word “Person”, as in “God in three Persons”, refers to the old Latin word for mask. Actors would change their masks according to the script or the story, but they were the same person behind the mask. It’s similar with the “Persons” of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — it is the same God throughout.

God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is always the same, always love, and full of grace and truth.
Best regards,
James
James Henderson is European Superintendent for Grace Communion International

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