Have you ever thought that an apple could be used to teach children about the Trinity? As odd as this might sound, the apple actually provides one of the best metaphors for the Trinity. Unlike symbols like the shamrock or triangle, which emphasis that something can be both three and one (i.e. a shamrock is one plant with three leaves and a triangle is one shape with three sides/corners), an apple can actually provide an explanation for yet another characteristic of the Trinity: the uniqueness of each divine Person. Begin the lesson by explaining what a symbol is. The Trinity is a great mystery of our faith, and thus it is very difficult to understand and explain. Because it is so complicated, we need to use symbols and metaphors to make sense of it. It is very important to emphasize that there is no metaphor or symbol that will ever fully explain the Trinity, but there are some examples that can at least help us to understand a little bit about what the Trinity is. The apple is one such symbol.
An apple has three parts: the seeds, the flesh, and the skin. If you cut an apple in half, you can see that each of these three parts are different (you can even cut the apple for the children so that they can see what you’re talking about). The seeds look different from the flesh, which looks different from the skin. Each serve a very different purpose, but they are all equally an apple. You can even go so far as to compare the three parts of an apple to the different Persons in the Trinity. The skin is like God the Father, because He protects us. The flesh is like God the Son, because Jesus Christ took on human flesh. The seeds are like God the Holy Spirit, because He helps us to grow. Each of the parts of an apple is different, but they are all ‘apple.’
As a supplement to the apple Trinity activity, you can also read a book on the Trinity to the children. I highly suggest reading them “Three in One: A Picture of God” by Joanne Marxhausen This book can be found in OLMC’s resource room, and can be checked out for a period of one week.