The Trinity – the ‘Triangle of Hope'
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To consider the Christian concept of God as the Trinity.
Preparation and materials
- Have available your choice of one of the images of the boat and triangle of light by Khaled Ballout, from the Lebanon (available at: http://tinyurl.com/knlo4qo) and the means to display it during the assembly.
- Have available 'Agnus Dei' from Faure's Requiem and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.
There was once a boy who grew up in a country that was suffering from a terrible war. Many of his family and friends fought in the war. Sadly some of them died.
He had grown up in a fishing village that, before the war, was a wonderful place to be. He remembered when he was very small, going down to the harbour each day to watch the small boats come back from their early morning fishing trips. Sometimes the nets seemed to be so full of fish that he was worried the boats would overturn.
The fishermen would tease him and say, 'Quickly! Help us, we need someone strong and brave! We cannot haul the fish in ourselves and we will lose all today’s catch if you don’t help us!' Catching hold of the rope they threw him, he would heave with the men until they were safely into the harbour. He remembered the sights and smells, the noise of the small engines, the slipperiness of the nets, some of them made by his father's grandfather, but, most of all, he remembered the laughter.
As he grew older, when the fighting was at its worst, he would remember those days and run down to the harbour, hiding in an upturned boat, now abandoned and still. He could still smell the fish, feel the weight of the nets and hear the distant laughter. In his heart he could not give up hope. He prayed to God every day for peace to return.
As he crouched under the boat, he could see in the distance the smoke from the fires in the city, burning as a result of the bomb attacks. The skies were darkened and heavy, the clouds seemed thick with sorrow. As he prayed, he saw a shaft of light breaking through the clouds. The sun pierced the darkness and stretched down and down to the boats around him. It looked like a triangle – a bright triangle of light sending the gloom and horror of the war far, far away. As the light reached the harbour, its solid flat base settled on two of the boats long silent and tethered. He remembered now the stories of Jesus, how he brought hope to the people, people like those in his village who were suffering, in fear and pain.
He knew from that moment he would never give up hope because God would be with him. God would be with him in the stories of Jesus, making him strong and brave, just like the fishermen from the village had called him to be.
As he watched the strong triangle of light, the darkness of war seemed to be easier to bear. He followed the light back up towards heaven, sending up a prayer that the Holy Spirit would show him how to share these feelings of hope. He knew what he had to do.
He ran home, his heart beating not with the fear of war, as it had done so many times, but with the excitement of the knowledge he carried. He took out paper and pencils. He drew as if all depended on it. He had to recreate on paper the hope he had felt watching the shaft of light in the harbour.
In his heart and mind, he saw the strength of the Trinity – a strong and sturdy triangle of hope with God watching over him, Jesus showing the way and the power of the Holy Spirit working with him to bring hope to others.
The wars finally ended and many had suffered, but the young artist brought hope to a desperate fishing village time and time again, with his 'triangle of light' reminding people that God is always with us, no matter how terrible life may seem. His art showed that faith and hope are two of the greatest gifts people can share.
Time for reflection
Play the ‘Agnus Dei’ from Faure’s Requiem.
This is a moving and powerful piece of music. Imagine the scenes from the story we have just heard as you listen to it.
Think about a time when everything seemed 'dark' to you. What or who helped you through it? Remember the feeling you experienced when things got better. Hold on to that feeling as long as you can.
Our lives can be full of things that trouble us.
Every day we see the suffering of others.
Help us to bring hope and peace to all we meet, through the teachings of Jesus and the love of the Holy Spirit.
Ideas for follow-up activities
1. Read the story of the miraculous catch in Luke 5.1–11. Find out more about Jesus and his 'fishers of people', the disciples.
2. Explore the ideas of faith, trust and hope, especially how these figure in difficult times.