Dave Brisbin 6.2.19
I sometimes get asked why I don’t talk more about the Spirit, and that question always surprises or at least reminds me of differing perspectives. Of course I understand why it comes up—the Spirit is central to any reading of the New Testament as that which draws us to God, informs and empowers us to a fullness in spiritual awareness. This week, I was asked when I would talk about the Trinity, so I thought I’d put the two together in the context of love and see what happened. It took the church 300 years after the crucifixion to decide how the Father and Jesus were related, and another fifty plus to add Holy Spirit to a trinity of persons in one God. But alongside those heady debates was a set of three eastern bishops who understood this threeness of God experienced as Father, Son, and Spirit in creation, reconciliation, and sanctification as inseparable from the constant movement, the alternating flow of giving and receiving between lover and beloved. 

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They saw the three persons of the godhead as in perichoresis—a Greek word that literally means circle dance—the blur of motion that is the definition of the dance, the way the motion of breath and wind is the definition of ruha, Aramaic for spirit. The blur of motion is God, and a mention of any one person of God always includes every person in the blur because it’s the motion that defines the relationship. It’s when we enter the motion blur ourselves like kids jumping on a spinning merry go round to join their friends that the blur of faces resolves to individuals as we add ours to circle of the dance.

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