Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Dancing God

Back in early December, in a comment (December 7, 2012 09:14 PM) over at Villainous Company, Grim said about a friend of his:

I'm not sure just how she does see the sacred, except that I know she sees it in relationship. I know this because she defines Logos as "relationship," which isn't entirely wrong: but let me draw the issue. Logos is the Greek for 'word,' and is the term used in the opening of the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God." So it's an important term.

Logos is related to our word for "logic," as well as being the actual word for "word," and in the Greek it has a strong connotation of order; but "relationship" is an interesting reading. And yet it's right, in a way. Logic is about ordering things correctly; and order is a kind of relationship, one to another, each in their place but in just the right 'relationship' to each other.

The idea of seeing the sacred in relationship reminded me at the time of something I’d read (probably in The Reason for God ) about the Triune God. As I remember it, the idea was that the three aspects (for lack of a better word) of God - Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - were in a constant dance with each other, each loving, glorifying, and delighting in the others.

This idea came up again (in somewhat different form) in the C.S. Lewis I'm currently reading which inspired me to do a little research. It turns out this is the idea of “perichoresis” (emphasis mine):

The fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit bring glory to each other is precisely because of the love that they share in eternity, since to exalt the other is a supreme act of love. And pushing further still, I would suggest that a doctrine given a rather complicated Greek name, perichoresis, provides the best framework for understanding the Trinitarian form of God's glorification. This is the doctrine that the Persons of the Triune Godhead mutually indwell one another, and seems—although the biblical data are very faint—to suggest that the characteristics of the Godhead flow out of this perichoretic union.

I do not know, of course, if this is what Grim’s friend is thinking of when she sees the sacred in relationship but I like very much the idea of the sacred arising from an eternal dance. That seems quite perfect.

1 comment:

Grim said...

Well, Sister Barbara is a good lady, in any case. I want to know what she sees, as much as I can.