Parent and Child (October 16, 2012)

…Opening To…

You know what the first rule of flyin’ is? …Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as a turn in the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells ya she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home. (Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity)

…Listening In…

The LORD created me at the beginning of his way, before his deeds long in the past. I was formed in ancient times, at the beginning, before the earth was. (Proverbs 8:22-23; context)

…Filling Up…

We’ll start our discussion of the Holy Trinity before the beginning. You see, if we start at the beginning, we’ve already arrived on the scene too late, as our verse in the “Listening In” section reminds us. Proverbs’ personification of Wisdom says, “The LORD created me at the beginning of his way, before his deeds long in the past. I was formed in ancient times, at the beginning, before the earth was.” Wisdom may have been created before the earth, but Wisdom tells us that the Lord still created her. This is far too late to begin our discussion of the Trinity. Too even grasp the edge of the expanse of the majesty of the Trinity, we must cast our imaginations back to before there was even a concept known as “before.” You with me so far? Good.

In the First Letter of John, the writer makes the sweeping statement: “God is love.” If nothing besides God existed before the beginning, how did this love manifest? If there was no Creation to fill the role of the Beloved – the object of love – then how could God be “love?” At first the answer seems rather narcissistic: if there was nothing else to love, then God loved God. But we can’t stop there because true love always manifests as a relationship. In our futile attempt to find the right word to name God, we latch on to relational language and call God “Father.” This sets up one side of a loving relationship, that of parent to child.

But the relationship is incomplete without that second person. And so we also call God “Son” to acknowledge the complete relationship between loving parent and beloved child. In the Gospel according to John, Jesus says that God “loved me before the foundation of the world.” This love between parent and child is so palpable that the love itself is the third member of the Trinity, which we experience as the Holy Spirit. Indeed, Paul tells the church in Rome that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are love and you exist as a perfect loving relationships. Thank you for loving me with the same love that existed before time began. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that in you I find perfect love and a perfect home.

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