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Summary: We were created to join in the dance of unity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Spirit draws us back into the dance.

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Knowing the Holy Spirit May 1, 2005

The Spirit and Union (Baptism in the Spirit)

Do you remember a few weeks ago we were trying to find an image, a metaphor for the trinity that goes beyond an fills out the images of the egg, or the shamrock, or fire? And we rediscovered this ancient word and metaphor; "perichoresis" which the church has used as a description of God who is three and who is one. (the Eastern Orthodox church never lost this image) And Perichoresis means "circle dance." So we say that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in this eternal perichoresis, this eternal circle dance. The dance is one of eternal giving of glory to each other. It is this eternal spiral of glory on top of glory as each of the persons gives glory to the other. You can get glimpses of this intimate glory-giving circle dance in the things that Jesus prays and says before he goes to the cross:

John 17:1

1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.

John 16:14 "(The Spirit) will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

At some point before time, in this eternal glory-giving circle dance, the dance cannot contain itself, and it breaks out into a creation dance. And the Spirit swoops out in the dance and hovers over the deep and the great and mighty Wind of God starts stirring it up bringing cosmos out of the chaos: bringing order and beauty out of the primordial ooze. I see the Father, coming behind the Son, putting his hand under the Son’s and together pushing up the Himalayas into place in the dance.

and everything was

dark except for

sparks the Spirit struck from their hair

sparks that turned to

wings around them

(and) suddenly, angel voices are mixed with seabird cries

And you see them dancing

throwing their arms toward the sky

fingers opening

like flares

stars were shooting everywhere

The Father, with the Son, takes hydrogen and forms it like a snowball and puts it just in the right place. The Spirit comes with his breath, and fans it into flame. Fantastic explosions continue and continue and continue: the Sun is born and begins to circle around the Galaxy, which circles around the universe, and we circle around this burning ball of flame.

The dance continues, the Father and Son form plants and animals and more birds and fish and everything that exists. The Spirit comes at each turn and breathes the breath of God into them and brings the Creation to life. And all of creation joins in with creator in the glory-giving dance. There is perfect unity, perfect rhythm. IT IS GOOD.

But for a moment the dance slows, a sadness comes over the Father’s face, the dance becomes almost mournful, and the three know that the dance will be broken –creation will step out of the dance, it will become “out of step,” and “out of time,” and out of unity with its creator.

The Three will create humanity, and humanity will pull the creation out of the dance.

What will we do?


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