Saturday, February 28, 2009


The Christian God is a relational god. This is at the heart of who God is as Father, Son and Spirit. God eternally dwelling within God's Self, each Person indwelling the Other, and loving the Other. This is one way to describe something that is beyond our understanding, yet evident from Scripture.

This is at the heart of our humanity, what it means to be human is relationships. All other truth points us in this direction: relationships. Of course the first and greatest commandment according to Jesus is to love God with all our being and doing, and the second like it, is to love our neighbor as ourselves. This love is to come from the face of God we experience in Jesus Christ, the face of the God who is love (as I was reminded of today, in Scot McKnight's 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed).

This is in large part why Dietrich Bonhoeffer was right to say that we must learn to listen well to our fellow human being. Otherwise we will find ourselves not listening to God. And in the end, our spiritual life will be dry and dead, while our religion may go on.

I don't care that much about what I know or what you know, not for itself. Yes, knowledge by faith is important. But the goal is relationship and communion with God and with each other. Of course only in Christ can people come to their senses and repent and thus find themselves found by God. The central need for relationship is inherent in us as humans made in God's image.

I love relationships, but I have to work at it, partly since I want to read and think and commune with other readers and thinkers. But in Christ's Body the church, we are made to be in a living, loving communion with all. And this being so through the common communion we have with God by the Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord.  A communion which longs to see all others come in and be a part, through Jesus.

What place do relationships play in your life? What place are they to have, and how?

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