The Trinity has been described as a "divine dance." The word in Greek is perichoresis, a word meaning to dance around. This divine dance describes the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a relationship of mutual love and service, a relationship in which each one is centered around the other. This can be symbolized in the triquetra and other designs that show three interlocking rings, triangles, or fish symbols. The Trinity is a relationship that gives to the other, exalts the other, and serves the other.
As we begin to follow Jesus, we are invited to join in this dance. God created us, not to give God joy, but to receive the joy that already existed within the Trinity. We join in this perichoresis, this divine dance, by centering our selves in God. We recognize that it's not all about us, but that it is all about God. Ultimate reality can only be found in God. We are invited to play a part in that reality and join in God's story. It's mind blowing to think that the Creator wants us to be a part of what he is doing to restore the creation and reconcile all things.
This invitation also has implications for us as we enter into the dance. The first is realizing that our lives are to revolve around God. God is to be the sun around which we orbit. As a baby learns that the world doesn't revolve around him, so must we. We are to be all about doing the will of the Father as Jesus was. We are to seek his interests, exalt him, and give ourselves to him. We are to love God with every fiber of our beings. As we enter more and more into this dance, we find that forgetting about ourselves and orbiting around God is a joy rather than a drudgery.
The second implication is that we must also remember that there are others who are in this dance with us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are dancing as well, and those who haven't come to faith in Christ are to be invited to join us. That means that in our relationships with other people, we are not to expect them to orbit around us. We do not expect them to give to us, build us up, or serve us. The opposite is true. As we dance, we recognize that we are to orbit around them. Their interests, their needs, their good is what we are to be about. This means we are to forget about ourselves. That is a hard thing to do. Our natural tendency is to make sure that we get ours, and then maybe we'll give to others. We do this with our money, most obviously. We also do this with our time and energy, and our talents and gifts.
I believe this lack of dancing correctly is a major reason why churches are ineffectual, and why community is so hard to find. A group of folks who expect everyone else to orbit around them and their interests will quickly fall into conflict and will cease to exist. It is only in the dance God has called us to that we can truly find the love and acceptance we all desire. It is only when we forget ourselves and dance in our orbits around God and around others, that we find joy. The old children's song that spelled "joy" as Jesus, others, and you, was actually pretty much on the money. That is the dance, moving in and out, around and around, in a constant relationship of mutual love and service.
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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