Saturday, 5 April 2014
Lent day 30 - never alone: the Trinity and the Christian
I love memes and thought this one relevant to John 14. Jesus is speaking cryptically and deeply about a great many things, but it is clearly meant to be understood in what we would now call Trinitarian language, even if we are not to jump straight into the Greek metaphysical categories that were to follow.
Jesus is 'going to the Father', and will prepare a place for his disciples. The word translated as rooms refers to temporary accommodation - this isn't about a disembodied future in heaven. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus. They work as an intimate team, and Jesus describes himself as the sole way to the Father - hardly pluralistic or PC. The way to see the Father is to see Jesus. What Philip should have understood is now plainly visible to us.
Jesus 'going to the Father' is the beginning rather than the end. It is the true beginning of the church so that we might do even greater things than Jesus. It is of course, impossible to top what Jesus did on the cross, but in living out the reality of the cross; sharing the message and living in loving community, we bring this first century event throughout history.
All of this is enabled by the 'another advocate', another being one of the same type. Here, John is clearly claiming divine inspiration for his recounting of Jesus' life, and centuries of Christians have claimed his presence; bringing us inner confirmation of our standing in Christ, helping shed light on Scripture and so on.
And so the Spirit brings us into the divine communion, into the Trinitarian life of God. God is the God indeed who seeks to sum up all things into himself, not in a totalising way that destroys individuality, but in a way that affirms and transforms who were are.
Profound indeed. Deep. And beyond anything I can easily summarise in a few paragraphs.