William Paul Young continues:
Throughout our history we have been looking for ways to use metaphor, story, even the word perichoresis, even by the end of the New Testament, they’re still struggling for language.John’s Gospel, which is probably the last book of the New Testament written, is still trying to wrestle with these things. And this wrestling has continued.
What if we are still in the early church? If the consummation of the age isn’t for another 40,000 years, we’re in the early church. So relax. There is a reason we haven’t got a lot of this figured out yet.
If someone coming from our hurt and our tradition and our background doesn’t find someone to belong to we never belong anywhere. It’s part of the environment of a third culture kid, someone who grows up in a different culture than their parents, transported to their parents’ culture where they don’t fit, and by the time they get back to the one they grew up in, they don’t fit their either.
And the whole world has an increasing number of third culture kids. In my journey of trying to deal with loss, the idea of a God who has been face to face to face in relationship, gave me a reason to believe in relationship.
So in my journey of trying to deal with the losses of life, suddenly the idea that there is a God who is in face to face to face relationship gave me the understanding that, from eternity, there has been an other. And suddenly you had a basis for love and relationship which was very different from the concept of a distant deity behind the back of Jesus.
I don’t want my kids to trying to build a relationship with the God I grew up with because I don’t even think that God exists. Every great paradigm shift in terms of our relationship with God, involves us to move through atheism, because we have to deny the God we thought existed. We have to say that God does not exist. I am in unison with so many of my atheist friends because the God they don’t think exists, I don’t think exists either.
My way into this conversation came through dealing with my losses. And the place I ended up running to was inside this circle of relentless affection that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and in which we were created because there is nothing outside of that. All of creation is created in him. “Not anything that has come into being has come into being apart from him.”
I was raised Christian Scientist – the ultimate rationalist God who was infinite mind. Matter didn’t really exist, everything created was evil and it all had to be taken back to infinite mind.
What began to turn me around was singing in a really good highschool choir. One of the kids in that choir was killed in a car accident and his parents asked if we would sing at his funeral. At that service something broke wide open inside my 16 year old being. What I saw is that we could comfort and love each other in beauty and tenderness and honestly hold hands in the midst of our vulnerability. This gave me a relational baseline. I knew God was love and love was relationship.
If the central and deepest truth about that God is relationship. This tells you why men are so damaged, because relationship is where we are most wounded.
There is something different and distant about just saying God. But there is a movement towards relationship when you say Papa. This is what love does. The centrality of relationship. When you enter relationship you enter a mystery and the mystery keeps moving. You lose control in relationship. You do not get to control it. We are control freaks. We would rather have religion, and doctrine than take the risk of trust, especially for those of us who have broken hearts.
That’s exactly what begins to bring us towards freedom is beginning to exercise relationship within community. God has designed this so that we can absolutely only come to wholeness within the community of people who are God with skin on. And that’s the fourth, the missing figure in Rublev’s Trinity. The circle is fulfilled when you open to this flow.