Many times people say things like, “We need to get back to the basics,” or, “I wish we could go back to the good old days.” or, “we need to get back to Jesus, or the early church.”
I understand the sentiment, but, I wonder. Can you ever go back? Is that the direction God calls us to move?
This sketch looks at the Trinity and time. God the Creator promised life and continually expanded that promise throughout the story of the Old Testament. That promise became enfleshed when the second person of the Trinity became the man, Jesus, who fulfilled God’s promise with the demonstration of absolute love through his death on the Cross. This practice of love showed us the way of God in practice through selfless love for the other.
Those events are in the past. The past only exists in our memories. It is not a place to which we can go. The promise of God is a call to a preferred future. The future is infinite possibility, ripe with promise and despair.
The present is the only reality that is eternally sustained by the Spirit of God.
I know that’s pretty esoteric stuff, but here’s the practical application.
Where is your focus? If you spend your energy trying to “get back” to a memory, then you are going nowhere. If you set your eyes on the promise of God, made possible through the practice of Jesus, and empowered by the forward-pulling of the Holy Spirit, then your next possibility will become a reality that is in sync with God’s promise and resonates with the ways of God for peace in the world. If our vision is anywhere else then the next possibility will be a reality that is discordant with God’s promise and will be a destructive force that leads to bad memories and distorted vision that thwarts hope.
I’m beginning to work on a project that is tentatively called “The Journey: Finding Your Way for a Life in God” The following three images are the three metaphors from which I will draw throughout the course. It will be an eight-session course, designed to allow individuals to take first steps in an intentional faith walk in the life of a congregation. My intention is to have this available online so that anyone can use it. The material for the course is drawn from my research at deepintheburbs.com
Let me know if you would like updates on the progress.
I was sorting through some old notes this morning and I came across my visual notes from the CML Conference on the Missional Church and Digital Media. The presentations by Mary Hess and Elizabeth Drescher align so well with Deana Thompson And John Roberto’s presentations at the Rethinking Faith Formation. I put them all together here as a picture of how the missional church must imagine community as the virtual body of Christ as public companion with the world.
My recent reading of Ernest Simmons’ book—The Entangled Trinity—inspired me to go back and look at these first Thketches I did in December, 2011. They demonstrate how panentheism seemed to be the more likely model.
These were my first attempts at Thketches, ((that’s my weird name for my Theological Sketches—Thketches—where I try to explain complex ideas using simple drawings.)) and they are pretty rough—BE WARNED!. I didn’t write a script or do any post-production editing, I just started recording, drawing, and sketching, hoping it would make sense. Someday I’ll go back and tighten these up, or update them.
I post them now because I think they give an important background to why I am studying the Trinity and created the Deep in the Burbs project. They explain how I have moved from a modern theistic worldview to robust Trinitarian world view.