As soon as I walked into the church building, I felt it. The day was significant. In fact, it’s what brought me here.
The preparation was obvious. The choir was poised, the orchestra full, and the worship brochure 4-color.
But it was more than that. There was a flow that was undeniable. The pews were teeming with expectancy. “Installation Sunday” marks a new chapter in a church’s history, and today was special.
As I sat there, I thought about how good church is when it’s at its best. If worship on an “ordinary” Sunday could be like this, I mused.
Beyond the single purpose and obvious preparation, what was it that gave this day such flow?
The early church tried to communicate this notion as a mutual participation in the Divine.
If you have been to a Greek wedding, you may have seen it played out in a dance. It’s called perichoresis. There are not two dancers, but at least three. They move in circles, weaving in and out in this very beautiful pattern of motion. They go so quickly and effortlessly they becomes a blur, their individual identities part of a larger dance.
The early Cappadocian church fathers looked at that kind of dance and said, in so many words, that’s what God is like; not one but three, not three but one.
Whatever is going on in God is a flow that’s like a dance; and God is not just the dancer, God is the dance itself!
Richard Rohr says, “Trinity is the very nature of God, and this God is a circle dance, a centrifugal force flowing outward, and then drawing all things into the dance centripetally….Scientists are discovering this reality as they look through microscopes and telescopes. They are finding that the energy is in the space between the particles of the atom and between the planets and the stars. They are discovering that reality is absolutely relational at all levels. When you really understand Trinity, however slightly, it’s like you live in a different universe.”
And, I might add, it’s like being part of a different kind of church—the flesh and blood participation in the Divine “flow.”
That’s when the church is at it’s best.
What might that look like?
Perhaps it is—
…when the church moves from the center to meet with others on the edges, you join the flow.
…when the church is honest and humble about the darkness within its own walls and lets the light shine in, and does needed interior work, you join the flow.
…when the church gives itself to that which is larger than itself, you join the flow.
If the Divine is a community of love in which the members of the Trinity move and encircle one another in loving community and service, then God is not somebody on a cloud somewhere, but right here among us, like a dance or a “flow” that we enter into.
This “flow” is the essence of church when it is at its best. It’s when God and the church are in sync with one another. It’s like entering a sacred dance. You can feel it, the energy. You can hear it, a holy hum.
I want to join this kind of flow. I believe others will as well.
At the Center for Healthy Churches we lead churches through healthy processes that enable churches to get in sync with God, one another, and their local community. Such transition results in renewed purpose and vision, conflict transformation, energized ministries and staff.
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