Have you ever been asked the following question?
How can the Holy Spirit be a person in the Trinity and yet He cannot be seen and does not take up any space like all people do?
This is a simple object lesson that incorporates science to demonstrate one aspect of the doctrine of the Trinity. Many children begin to get curious about the Holy Spirit as they grow older. They do not think it is logical to be a person and not be seen while still alive. Be careful not to mistakenly offer a pantheistic answer and say that God is in everything! That is different than saying God is everywhere (which is called God’s omnipresence. See Psalm 139:7-10).
- Paper towel
- 2 Large Cups or Glasses
- Tub of water (while a tub is preferable, a bucket will work)
So how do you answer the above question? I have found a simple experiment helps the children to understand how something can exist yet not be seen and not take up any space. Ask the kids if they can think of anything they use on a daily basis that would have these same qualities. Allow them to give some answers. Some of your older children may answer correctly, but many will not think along the lines. (The correct answer is Oxygen but don’t say it just yet!)
Fill the tub with water. Take a paper towel and put it in the cup. Ask the children what will happen if you put the cup in the water–will the towel get wet or will it stay dry? Allow for some answers. Presumably, the kids will be giving both answers–wet and dry.
First show them how the paper towel stays dry by placing the cup perpendicularly in the water. The air in the cup will force the water to around the cup keeping the paper towel dry. As you are showing the dry paper towel, explain to the children that we don’t see the air and that everything in the room is surrounded by the air but it would appear that the air does not take up any space. However, the air took up space in the cup so that water could not get it.
The science is that the pocket of air in the cup cannot escape and therefore keeping the water from entering the cup.
Even though we can’t see the air, we can see that it has properties that can be seen. This is true of the Holy Spirit. Those who have the invisible Holy Spirit living inside them will have visible evidence. At this point, take the opportunity to share Gal. 5:22-25.