Sunday, 15 June 2014

Seeking understanding


     John 3:16-18

Jesus said to Nicodemus:‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of
God’s only Son.’

One of the things I love most about Jesus is that he is just as tongue-tied as the rest of us about explaining mystery. Well, maybe somewhat better than some of us,  but the 50 parables of the Gospels are no more than metaphorical tales as Jesus tries, over and over again,  to refine the statements - God is like....the Kingdom is like....Heaven is like...

But most of all, the most indescribable of all, the mystery that is Holy Trinity - that is our God. St Anselm may write that 'faith seeks understanding' but the seeking simply creates more of a need to understand what cannot be understood. 

 When I was thinking about this feast the thought came into my head that St Anselm was wrong - faith does not seek understanding - faith seeks reassurance. Asking God to find a way to let us know that it is true; that 'He' is true; that 'They' are true. 

Faith sometimes seeks ways of turning faith into proof and that is as impossible for us as it was for Jesus. It just has to happen; which is why, sometimes, it can only happen when there is nothing left; when all the 'truths' have passed us by or let us down. When we are hiding in the shadows believing ourselves lost and suddenly a shaft of light appears. Then the thought of this God of many levels and relationships becomes a need to have a parent and a family that we can belong to. Maybe we need less proof and more instinct. Heart to heart in love.

Because the One God is all about Love.

Imagine God with a single face. Where would Love have come from? Self-love is dangerous; the alternative even worse. To create humanity out of loneliness is somewhat pathetic; to create humanity so as to love God is selfish and manipulative; and ill conceived - especially as we are not very good at it.

Give God two faces and love becomes imaginable. The delightful memory for those who have been there – looking into the eyes of the One, the grace of knowing that you are also the One; a love that mirrors itself; basking in its perfection. Complete in themselves; a God with two faces would have had no need for us; no time to even consider creating distractions such as ourselves.

God with three faces always has somewhere else to look; another image to gaze upon with wonder and awe; Love that grows and strains to find more to love. A love that is drawn from one to another in a pattern, a dance of Grace. This God is able to look at each other and say ‘this Love needs to be shared’.

Jesus is the Gate and the Gatekeeper. And because he is both God and Man - we have been included in the mystery. As in  Rublev's Icon, the invitation has been made. The Trinity is no longer self-contained - it has a crack in it and we are meant to find our way in.

Explain mystery? Only a human would even try.

            It is like....



Claire Bangasser said...

A lovely post, Word. Thank you :-)

Deirdra said...

Hi I'm looking for your contact info for a bookreview/post?
Can you email me at EdenLiterary at gmail dot com