Sunday, November 30, 2014

Listening to the Triune God

Triune views of God have been around a long time. The Hindus consider most, if not all, of the innumerable members of their pantheon, as being manifestations or avatars of their trinity which comprises Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. The Ancient Egyptians had a Trinity of Osiris, the father; Isis, the mother; and Horus, the son. Modern Christians have God the father, the creator; Christ the son, the redeemer; and the Spirit, the preserver. In the Western Church these three tend to be placed in an inverted triangle, with the Spirit proceeding from the father and son. In the Eastern church, the triangle is upright, with the Spirit proceeding from the father. And then you have the reformed Anglo-Catholics with their cult of the Virgin Mary, whom they inadvertently deify as a mother Goddess, the Queen of Heaven. Then there are the reformed Protestants, who are inadvertently making the Spirit a force or emanation of God, like the Hindu "Shakra" in place of the Pneumos Hagios or Holy Ghost, an actual persona.
And does doctrine matter? No. At best it is a useful tool for contemplation. At worst it is a stumbling block, anathema to all with any soul left, the last refuge of scoundrels, bigots and well meaning bishops.
So then, "Where is God?"
God is there, always. The original sin is to limit GOD. So said the man who wrote Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, and he had a point.
God is paradox, neither father nor mother and both father and mother. God is. She does not begin. He does not end. She is. As is creation in its many manifestations, which is also eternal, shaped again and again out of the very stuff of the creator, within whom (and on this at least St Paul was right) we live and move and have our being.
God both transcends creation, and walks within creation, and indeed is creation. God is great. And will be greater still, always growing. A marriage between creator and created is part of the very essence of the purpose of life. As a product of which there are always new heavens and again and again there will yet be a new earth.
The most terrible aspect of all of this is that nothing ends. You can't kill the Spirit. God exists. And in this world of tsunamis and oppressive wars in which God insists on continuing with his non-interventionist policy just because His experiment demands free-will for all creation . . . God has much to answer for.

Who is God? That is not the question. Can you find God? That is the question. We should all listen for - and listen to - God.

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