Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Readings are HERE

Notes towards a sermon:

A word often used to speak of the Trinity is Perichoresis - in English "dancing around."

Here are some quotes from various centuries of people trying to describe this mystery of God experienced as three yet one:

"The Godhead is, to speak concisely, undivided... there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns joined to each other."
-Gregory of Nazianzus (4th cent. A.D.), Fifth Theological Oration, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson), 1994, p. 322.

"Theology makes explicit what the heart has always known. Let God be defined not so much by holiness and sovereignty in which loving relatedness is incidental, but by the dance of trinitarian life...When we render God in this way, not only atheists might come to love Him, but even Christians..."
Clark Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press), 1996, p. 47-48

"The incarnate one is the glorified God: 'The Word was made flesh and we beheld his glory.' God glorifies himself in man. That is the ultimate secret of the Trinity. The humanity is now taken up into the Trinity. Not from all eternity, but 'from now on even unto eternity;' the trinitarian God is seen as the incarnate one. The glorification of God in the flesh is now at the same time, the glorification of man, who shall have life through eternity with the trinitarian God...God remains the incarnate one even in the Last Judgment. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christ the Center, p. 105)

"And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing--not even a person--but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance." (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 152).

"Have you an infant child?...You have no need of amulets or incantations, with which the Devil also comes in, stealing worship from God for himself in the minds of vainer men. Give your child the Trinity, that great and noble Guard."
-Gregory of Nazianzus (4th cent. A.D.), Oration 15, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson), 1994, p. 365.

"Worship the Trinity, which I call the only true devotion and saving doctrine."
-Gregory of Nazianzus (4th cent. A.D.), Oration 43, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson), 1994, p. 405.

The Trinity has been described as a mountain approached from various sides - looking like 3 different mountains but when viewed after climbing to the top - seen as One. Or perhaps like water in its various forms: ice, liquid and steam - all the same substance but having very different appearances.

Bill Loader reflects on the reading from Romans: "So for Paul peace is about being in a right relationship with God, not as some distant judge nor as someone who is trying to draw us up into himself, but as one who is expansively living love out into the universe. We will have peace as we ride the flow of God's compassion out into the universe in our world and context. This is not a matter of following carefully
defined oughts, ancient or modern, but of being inwardly connected in such a way that we have an orientation which unites our joy, our intentions and attitudes and our actions. The more we allow ourselves to be loved the more we are free to ride the flow."

A country western song captures the idea for me:
Life is a dance
With steps you don't know
Join the dance
Learn as you go.

UPDATE: Pentecost sermon Listen HERE Scroll down to sermon. It will be up for a week.


Gramercy Galleria said...


I love your postings here and at the Episcopal Cafe.

In Shalom,

Serena said...

Great post for Trinity Sunday! Thanks.

Ann said...

I learned a new thing about the the dancing words:
From the sermonshop listserve-
Paul Marshall writes: As far as I can tell, Epichooresis, with an accented omega in the antepenult, means "envelopment"when used for the godhead by John of Damascus, or, later," going around" (circumincession in the Latin west). It is about the reciprocal indwelling of each person.

On the other hand, Epichoresis, with an omicron and the accent on the penult, is the word for dance. It is not a Trinitarian or theological word, but nonetheless for our times it suggests something very helpful, and can get us out of ponderous mode and into playfully
contemplative mode."

So I am thinking its more like do si do in square dancing