Exploring the Trinity in art, literature, dance and music Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! Economic Trinity: the eternal triunity of God within himself Immanent Trinity: the triunity of God in salvation history and divine revelation Homoousios: Greek for “of one substance” or “of one essence.” Used to describe the relationship between God the Father and God the Son as a response to Arianism (subordinationism) by the first ecumenical council at Niceae in 325 AD. Hypostastic union: the perfect unity of two distinct but never separate natures (divine and human) in one entity (hypostasis), that is, the eternally divine person of Jesus Christ Perichorisis: the mutual inter-penetration and indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity Kenosis: The Son of God’s voluntary act of self-emptying, self-limiting, and selfrestricting his conscious awareness and use of divine attributes in becoming human as Jesus. Subordinationism: Jesus is “under” God, secondary to God Modalism: God is three only in how he acts in the world Tritheism: God is three separate beings or a divine family with hierarchical structure Social analogy: Compares the Trinity with group of humans working in community for common goal Psychological analogy: Uses example of how an individual has different roles, but one constant personality Trinity in art What do you see? What essential truth(s) about God do you think the creator of this piece is trying to communicate? How is the Trinity or the relationship among the three members of the Trinity depicted? What shortcomings or limitations do you see in this portrayal of the triune God? What new thoughts or understandings about God do you have after considering this piece of work? The Shack by Wm. Paul Young “By nature I am completely unlimited, without bounds. I have always known fullness. I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence…Just one of the perks of being Me.” “When we three spoke ourself into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. Even though we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood…. Although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such…. Although he is also fully God, he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything. He has only lived out of his relationship with me, living in the very same manner that I desire to be in relationship with every human being. He is just the first to do it to the uttermost—the first to absolutely trust my life within him, the first to believe in my love and my goodness without regard for appearances of consequence…. [When he healed people], he did so as a dependent, limited human being trusting in my life and power to be at work within him and through him. Jesus, as a human being, had no power within himself to heal anyone…. Only as he rested in his relationship with me, and in our communion—our co-union—could he express my heart and will into any given circumstance.” p. 99-100 “But what difference does it make that there are three of you and you are all one God?...” [Mackenzie asks.] “…It makes all the difference in the world!...We are not three gods, and we are not talking about one god with three attitudes, like a man who is a husband, father and worker. I am one God and I am three persons, and each of the three is fully and entirely the one…. If I were simply One God and only One Person, then you would find yourself in this creation without something wonderful, without something essential even. And I would be utterly other than I am.” “And we would be without…? Mack didn’t even know how to finish the question. “Love and relationship. All love and relationship is possible for you because it already exists within Me, within God myself. Love is not the limitation; love is the flying. I am love.” (p. 101) “So then, where does that leave us?” [Mack] felt like he was asking the question for the entire human race. “Right where you were always intended to be. In the very center of our love and purpose.” (p. 111) The Shack by Wm. Paul Young “I love the way you treat each other. It’s certainly not how I expected God to be…you respond with such graciousness to each other. Isn’t one of you more the boss than the other two?...I mean I have always thought of the Father as sort of being the boss and Jesus as the one following orders, you know, being obedient. I’m not sure how the Holy Spirit fits in exactly…kind of a…free Spirit, but still under the direction of the Father.”... “Mackenzie, we have no concept of final authority among us, only unity. We are in a circle of relationship, not a chair of command or “great chain of being’ as your ancestors termed it. What you’re seeing here is a relationship without any overlay of power. We don’t need power over the other because we are always looking out for the best. Hierarchy would make no sense among us.”… “…You humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that relationship could exists apart from hierarchy. So you think that God must relate inside a hierarchy like you do. But we do not.” “… we want to share with you the love and freedom and light that we already know within ourself. We created you, the human to be in face-toface relationship with us, to join our circle of love.” (pp. 121-124) Lord of the Dance at the Journey: The immanent and economic Trinity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC 1Rg-6pSuM&feature=related ELW 412: Come, Join The Dance of Trinity lyrics by Richard Leach Come, join the dance of Trinity, before all worlds begun-the interweaving of the Three, the Father, Spirit, Son. The universe of space and time did not arise by chance, but as the Three, in love and hope, made room within their dance. Come, see the face of Trinity, newborn in Bethlehem; then bloodied by a crown of thorns outside Jerusalem. The dance of Trinity is meant for human flesh and bone; when fear confines the dance in death, God rolls away the stone. Come, speak aloud of Trinity, as wind and tongues of flame set the people free at Pentecost to tell the Savior's name. We know the yoke of sin and death, our necks have worn it smooth; go tell the world of weight and woe that we are free to move! Within the dance of Trinity, before all worlds begun, we sing the praises of the Three, the Father, Spirit, Son. Let voices rise and interweave, by love and hope set free, to shape in song this joy, this life: the dance of Trinity. ELW 684: Creating God, your fingers trace Words: Jeffery Rowthorn Creating God, your fingers trace the bold designs of farthest space; let sun and moon and stars and light and what lies hidden praise your might. Sustaining God, your hands uphold earth's mysteries known or yet untold; let water's fragile blend with air, enabling life, proclaim your care. Redeeming God, your arms embrace all now despised for creed or race; let peace, descending like a dove, make known on earth your healing love. Indwelling God, your gospel claims one family with a billion names; let every life be touched by grace until we praise you face to face. ELW 735: Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth Text: Jean Janzen Mothering God, you gave me birth in the bright morning of this world. Creator, source of every breath, you are my rain, my wind, my sun. Mothering Christ, you took my form, offering me your food of light, grain of life, and grape of love, your very body for my peace. Mothering Spirit, nurturing one, in arms of patience hold me close, so that in faith I root and grow until I flower, until I know.