Friday, May 25, 2012

Creator God, I hear You...

Creator God, I hear you in the beauty of humanity...

...where human hearts beat after the Father love of God, loving our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31)
...where human minds seek wisdom and understanding through the Holy Spirit, obeying everything Jesus taught (John 14:23)
...where human hands are moved by the compassion of Christ to do for the least of these brothers of mine (Matt 25:40)

Creator God, I hear you in the brokenness of humanity...

...because you cry out when hearts are hardened and love is over-shadowed by hatred.
...because you cry out when minds are closed and conform to the standards of this world.
...because you cry out when hands inflict violence and injustice upon the weak and vulnerable.

Creator God, I hear you in the belief for a new humanity… I listen to your cry and align my heart with the Father so that it may be broken by what breaks yours. I listen to your cry and am transformed by the Spirit through the renewing of my mind. I listen to your cry and embrace the mission of Christ to "preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, release the oppressed, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)

Creator God, Wholly Other...

Creator God, Wholly Other who transcends time and space, there is none like You:

You are the Sole Creator of all things for your pleasure and glory.

I worship you with all my heart, mind and soul, for you alone are worthy of praise!

You are the Sustainer of Order revealing your pattern and purpose for humankind. 

I meditate upon your Word and seek after the ways you have planned for me.

You are the Source of Diversity reflecting your divine creativity in the uniqueness of every living creature.

I celebrate that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) and marvel at all the works of your hand.

You are the Seeker of Relationship restoring broken humanity to your divine image.

I desire to be in communion with your triune nature and in community with other believer's so that we "may be one, as [you] are one" (John 17:22).

Creator God, it is in your "Otherness" that your relationship with the created order invites me to worship you as Lord and fellowship with you as Father, for your sovereignty is expressed and experienced through relationship. 

The same Spirit who hovered over the vastness of creation breathed life into my being and testifies with my spirit that I am a child of the living God (Romans 8:16). 

The living Word who spoke all creation into being became flesh (John 1:14), bridging the gap between your “Otherness” and my brokenness. 

Jesus you recreate, Spirit you renew, Father you restore me into right relationship within the triune community of my Creator and Your creation.

Note:  Based on Four key themes from Genesis 1 (Rev David Wilkinson), Lecture 8.1 - The Creator of all Things

3D Relationships

A three dimensional understanding of God leads to a three dimensional relationship with God. By stretching our knowledge of God beyond a one dimensional acquaintance to a three dimensional relationship it changes the way we interact with God and with each other.

One practical implication of a three dimensional view of God is in our prayer lives.  A one dimensional prayer life, while maybe sincere, is like communicating with someone we know little about.  A three dimensional prayer life enables us to communicate with God in the fullness of the Trinity; praying to the Father, in the Spirit, through the Son (Lecture notes 3.1).  The Apostle Paul engaged in a Trinitarian prayer life reflecting his intimate relationship with God:  “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:14-17).

Another implication of the Trinity is in our understanding of Salvation.  We are reconciled through Christ to a right relationship with our Creator God and empowered to live in that relationship by the Holy Spirit.  We can connect with God as the Source of life as Father, the Saviour of life as Jesus, and the Sustainer of life as the Spirit. 

Finally, our ability to interact in human relationships is deepened as we see ourselves and each other through this three dimensional lens.  Relationship is at the heart of the Trinity and the degree to which we engage with the triune God will impact the depth of human relationships as we move closer to being restored to a right image of God.  It has been said, “the extent that I am moving towards relationship, I am moving towards true personhood, but when I move towards individualism, I am stepping outside of what it means to be a person” (Lecture notes 4.2).  Individualism is the outworking of a one dimensional view of God, whereas, community is the outworking of engaging with God in all three dimensions.

3D God

While a picture may speak a thousand words, a one dimensional image of a person only offers a static view with limited insight into whom they really are.  However, a two dimensional motion picture brings the person alive, revealing an animated view of them in action.  But, look at the same animated picture through 3D glasses and it invites you to fully engage with the image from a variety of angles, providing an up close and personal multi-dimensional view of the person.

When it comes to an image of God, many people have only a one dimensional view which centres on a particular characteristic they are familiar with.  They may know Him by name, but do they really know Him?  The Scripture takes our knowledge of God to another dimension by revealing to us a three dimensional image which has come to be known in the church as the ‘Trinity’.  This Trinitarian image of God provides us with a three dimensional view of His three distinct identities – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Each dimension reveals the whole by allowing us to fully engage with God from all sides.

Theologian Stanley Grenz describes how the Jewish early Christians moved from a one dimensional understanding of God to a three dimensional relationship with Him:  “These Christians confessed the one true God of the Old Testament.  They proclaimed the Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth who differentiated himself from his Father.  And they knew the reality of the ongoing presence of God through the Holy Spirit who is distinct from both the Father and the Son.”  By looking at God through three dimensional lenses the early Christians were able to fully engage with a dynamic image of their God who came near and entered into their existence. 

God’s self-revelation through a Trinitarian view reveals the diversity and unity of His nature and how the cooperation of this three dimensional identities of God fulfils His divine activity on earth (Grenz).  Father, Son and Spirit is a dynamic image of a three dimensional God who desires His creation to enter into this divine relationship and “be one as [God is] one” (John 17:22).