I'm reading a lot of C.S. Lewis lately as the Sunday School class I teach is working through Mere Christianity. This week's portion is the essay he titled "Good Infection" (Book 4, chapter 4) and he's continuing his efforts to try and convey the Three-Personal-God to us. He's striking up images and analogies that make me think (and make my brain hurt at times), and he's exciting the senses with many of them. Lewis talks about Eternal Love being the pre-existing basis for the Father begetting (not making, mind you) the Son and that Love being the perfect expression as well. And it's all in some sort of perpetual motion that he likens to "a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance."
No, I don't think that's irreverent at all. I think it rather captures things in a unique way that perhaps we can see from our human perspective. We see "the dance" in the way our solar system rotates and moves through time and the seasons. We see it in the way our own Earth prepares in the coming weeks to "sleep" for a season so it can awaken to new life. And we see it in children dancing perhaps demonstrating the purest reflection of all.
Now, here's the great part. This "Triune Dance" Lewis eludes to has been going on since before there even was time. It's the communion between Father, Son and Spirit that not only gives life and motion but is life and motion! It is the heart of the Story where God the Author writes us a part and then enters the story himself to win us back. And it all comes because he wants to show us who he is and to invite us to come back and join in the dance like we were designed to in the first place. When we do that, we'll dance with the reckless abandon that only children know. We'll return to that place of innocence that looked so foreign but now feels like home.
The Crooked Path provides many opportunities to see life and motion and dance. If I stop to take them in, I can see the image of what is yet to come. My steps should grow a little lighter when that happens ... and I might just do a little dance myself.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
"God created human beings;
he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female"
Genesis 1:27, The Message
I learned some new perspective on things these past couple of weeks. First, I learned that God provides in his timing and it is what we need. Think of the concepts of daily bread or manna and you'll get the picture. I have some work again after a bit of a drought. I have no idea if it will be permanent or if I want it to be. But I know it is provision from a loving Father and that's what's important. But bigger than that, I've learned something new by the way of my C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity study. And it isn't so much the concept that is new as it is the perspective I've been given.
We've had it drilled into our heads that God is a Trinity since we first saw our names on a Sunday School role. I was in parochial school since the 4th grade and had it hammered home more than many. But the concept seemed a bit "out there" and this past week, I believe I understand why. It's because it is "out there" and that's the way it will stay. And a simple geometry lesson brought home the concept for me in a fresh way.
If life is a one-dimensional world, then all we see are simple lines. There is no shape defined and that's what the world is. But add a second dimension and we get shapes - shapes made up of lines. It is possible then, to draw a square and see it as it's own thing. But we overlook that it actually is four perfectly equal lines arranged in a certain way. Move to the next level of complexity, and you can take four squares and assemble a cube. That three-dimensional world takes on all kinds of possibilities that were never conceivable in the one-dimensional existence, yet even the cube retains the traces - the image if you will - of the simple lines that make it up.
God, all three persons or personalities of him, exists in a far more complex dimension than we do. Yet, when he created us, he said among himself (yes, you read that right), "Let's put the image of us in what we create. Let's put traces of our divine dimension and existence inside this man so he will have the opportunity, at some point, to see he is a reflection of us." And so we have what we read in Genesis 1 about God breathing his life into a lower, less complex dimension and it forever having the shadow of God inside it.
Now, to make it even more bizarre - and I say that in a good way - God doesn't stop at that. Knowing full well this creatures choice will be his undoing, God's second person reduces himself to the dimension of the created world, proves who is king once and for all, and provides a redemption. He invites us to live out our current existence in his grace so that we can one day transcend this feeble dimensional existence and go on to live forever in his dimension, seeing him face-to-face. And that, is one of the "mere" points of Christianity.
My Crooked Path is so far beneath where God dwells. And yet he chooses to enter my world and invite me into relationship. He offers me the gift of a different life now and the promise of something beyond my imagination to come. It's as if a cube could somehow tell a line, "I know you can't see it at the moment, but you will escape your limited dimension and know exactly who and what I am. Just trust me on that." OK, God, I think I can handle that much.
Posted by Mark Moore at 12:46 PM