The Chrismons – The Triquetra

In the beginning was the Word
    and the Word was with God
    and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
    and without the Word
    nothing came into being.
What came into being
    through the Word was life,
    and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.

The true light that shines on all people
    was coming into the world.
10 The light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through the light,
        but the world didn’t recognize the light.
11 The light came to his own people,
    and his own people didn’t welcome him.
12 But those who did welcome him,
        those who believed in his name,
    he authorized to become God’s children,
13         born not from blood
        nor from human desire or passion,
        but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh
    and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
    glory like that of a father’s only son,
        full of grace and truth.

15 John testified about him, crying out, “This is the one of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than me because he existed before me.’”

16 From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace;
17     as the Law was given through Moses,
    so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God.
    God the only Son,
        who is at the Father’s side,
        has made God known (John 1:1-18, Common English Bible).

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you (John 14:15-17).

For centuries, theologians have tried to understand and explain the concept of the Trinity. The simplest approach is “One God, three persons,” “Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the Scriptures above we find allusions to the idea.

More often than not, the three persons of the Trinity are considered equal because they are all one. It has been said that the Trinity is like water. If the water becomes cold, it becomes ice. In it’s liquid form it is water and when heated it takes on a gaseous form we call steam. Three different representations of one common element, H2O.

Representation of the Trinity is far easier to do in symbols than it is to try to explain the concept. The triquetra, the Chrismon above, is one way the Trinity is visualized.

The triquetra or “Trinity knot” refers to several different three-cornered shapes. In particular the symbol  points to leaf-like shapes that inter-lock together.

The triquetra originally meant any triangle and referred to various three cornered shapes. It was an important religious symbol used by ancient Pagan Celtics.

The symbol has long been used in the Christian church as a symbol for the “Trinity,” Father, Son and Holy Spirit. From it’s earlier history the symbol waned in its used until the Celtic revival of the 19th century.

In modern thought the triquetra brings to mind the shamrock or three-leaf clover of St. Patrick though a direct tie is lacking.

It is easy to find the triquetra in use sculpture, jewelry, stained glass as well as books. Many New King James Bibles have the triquetra imprinted on the title page.

The triquetra, the Trinity knot, is a symbol we commonly find on Chrismon trees this time of year. This Chrismon points us to remembering the Trinity.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



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