I recently saw the movie Thor. Thor is this beautiful story about a man who has fallen out of the grace of his King Father after breaking a peace treaty between rival realms. After being cast down from his realm to earth, he experiences his lostness from his father, his friends and his would be kingdom. He seeks to retrieve his hammer that gave him his powers and access to his former realm. In the midst of his search for his former it, he falls in love with earth. He falls in love with a woman. After his friends leave their realm to find him on earth, his evil brother sends down a flame throwing metal enemy to kill earth and Thor. When Thor pleads for peace with his brother through this enemy, the attacks continue and deeply wounds Thor. When his father sees this radical self-giving, he gives Thor access to his hammer to protect the woman he loves, his friends and the earth. When Thor returns back to his realm he continues this self-giving to try to bridge peace between the realms.
One of my favorite theological terms is the Perichoresis. Perichoresis describes a dance between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in which one of them could consume the space of the godhead, but, in radical self-giving, they continue to dance to give that space to one of the other members. But, it wasn’t enough for godhead to continue giving to each other.
God decided that he wanted to create a place for people to emulate this. He created a place for people to work, to live, to love, to enjoy God. This place was immensely saturated with the beauty and glory of God. This creation reflected the image of God. God then commanded them “to be fruitful and multiply.” As if it wasn’t enough for us to live in the joy and love of God, he said give yourselves away to each other. Enjoy each other. Love each other. When Adam and Eve decided that what God gave them in their humanity wasn’t enough, they fell into the consequences of their desire to be God.
God wasn’t done with them though. God loved his creation so much that God took a man named Abraham and decided that he was going to give immense blessing to this man. And, Abraham’s job was take the blessing of his life and give it away to others. He was blessed, so he could give blessings. For some reason some of the descendants of Abraham didn’t understand this and they fell into their lusts for life. They lusted after each other. They lusted for power. They lusted for other gods who were not God.
God wasn’t done with them still. God loved his creation so much that he sent one of the members of this godhead. Jesus gave himself away every where he went. When Jesus became exhausted from his giving, he went back to his Father and the Father gave himself away to Jesus to continue the unity of this self-giving. Jesus gave his life away to the the poor, the needy, the oppressed. Some people hated this so much that they decided to kill Jesus. And, before Jesus dies he tells those he is with that the giving doesn’t stop there. Just as Jesus was given by the Father, the Holy Spirit was given by Jesus.
And, for those of us who are in community with the Holy Spirit, it gives itself away to us to give us our rebirth. The Spirit is the one who nurtures life in us, it comforts the life in us. The Spirit is our vitality for life. The Spirit gives us so much life that it simply cannot be contained. We who are in this relationship with the Spirit cannot help but give our lives away to others. We who possess the Spirit of God, continue the mission of God, we continue the life of God. We continue the love of life.
My hope is that we can be connected to this language of God. When we look at animals, the tree’s, the water, when we feel the rain fall on our faces, my hope is that we can receive the love of God, who is giving himself to us. When we look at each other, I hope we can understand that this person is made in the image of God and God is communicating to me through them. My hope is that God gives himself away to us, that it doesn’t stop there, that we continue to give ourselves away to each other. May we be so filled with love and life that our children, parents, friends, spouses, significant others may know this spirit of life through us.