8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
So, when I try to fathom the Trinity my mind flits from image to image without settling, like that scene in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” when the spaceship is trying to find “normality” and people are teapots then vases of violets then flower petals before becoming people again. My mind can’t find the normality in it.
I can imagine God. He kind of looks like a really old version of Noah. I can imagine Jesus. He looks like Jim Caviezel, but from “Count of Monte Cristo” not “Passion of the Christ.” And the Holy Spirit is like music notes, playing the refrains that carry me through life. But mush them together and I’ve got nothing. God is Jesus is Holy Spirit and back again makes my head spin. But it’s Father’s Day today and I’m trying to make a go of it because I want to try to understand how this relationship works.
In the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, he begins to prepare his disciples for what’s to come. When he says he is going to his father’s house, Philip, naturally, wants to meet the big guy. He wants the dad in this equation to come down, claim his son, and introduce himself. To which Jesus replies, as he always does, with an exercise in faith, because that’s what will get them through the next few days and the years to come. According to Jesus, anyone who has seen him has “seen the Father.” In fact, he is “in” the father. God is Jesus is Holy Spirit . I wish I could have seen Philip’s expression. They are all one…and separate…and one. Speak to one and hear from all. It’s the best display of a united front that you could have.
The truth is, we really can’t fathom that kind of close relationship…so close it is one solid thing. We’re not wired for that. You may be closer than any other human is to your dad, but you are not your dad. You may watch your kids love their daddy with hearts in their eyes and total trust, but the relationship is not perfect. Hurts happen. The ultimate comfort I get from all of this is what Jesus says to open this dialogue with his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”
He’s/They’ve got enough space for me too in this perfect relationship even if I can’t completely understand it. They’ve got rooms to fill and one with my name on it. I’m not ever going to be able to love and intuit the needs of another person as much as they can for each other. But I am designed to crave it, to want someone to know me like that. And they do. There’s room for me in that mass of relationship and, thank heavens, I don’t have to reach normality to get it.
Sunday Thoughts Link Up!
It’s time for another Sunday Thoughts Link-Up! I know there are many out there with wisdom that could encourage all of us. As long as it’s Biblically-based, I’d love for you to join up and then read and comment on what others have shared. Please also leave a comment here. Think of this as a Sunday morning community group that comes to you. And grab the button if you like…
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