Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting Funky with Jesus

Word are always limiting to an extent. They are all we have been given. The reason I like the word perichoresis (over personal) is because it is language rooted in the character of God, not the character of the self. It is a word designated for the Trinity so it draws from the Trinitarian life.*

Perichoresis describes the mutual dwelling and shared relationships of the members of the Trinity. The word can be broken down to mean around + dance.

I love the image of the persons of the Trinity dancing together in harmony and inviting humanity to join in. Our relationship with God invites active participation with the movements of the Spirit.

Imagine someone dancing by themsevlves. It's hilarious. The music is playing and they go out on the dance floor and move without a partner. That is how most of our spiritual lives are. I choose the music, I push play, I lead the dance, I choose the steps, etc.

But a "personal" relationship with God is different. It's God's playlist, God's pushing, God's pulse, God's performance. A simple challenge for me is to daily find myself entering that cosmic activity. So today I hope you can dance and get funky with God!

*Ironic that the word personal, rooted in the word person, created some controversies in early Trinitarian theology! The Eastern church Fathers, first ones to write about the Trinity, described it as one ousia and three hypostasis. Tertullian, the first Western theologian, (he wrote in Latin, not Greek) described God as being one substance and three persons. This seems innocent enough if ousia=substance and hyspostasis=persons. But in the West, Tertullian, translated both ousia and hyspostasis=substance. So Tertuallian asserted that God is one ousia/hypostasis and introduced the word three persons.! Semantics, semantics!

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