In two books I am reading at the moment, The Divine Dance, by Richard Rohr and Religion as Metaphor, by David Tacey they make a similar point about Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. We have ‘separated Jesus from the Trinity’ and ‘locked divinity’ into this one person.
Tacey suggests that, “we cannot afford to lock divinity away in this single figure (Jesus) or imagine that the incarnation of God was once-only event, single, absolute and not to be repeated”.
Rohr, in his exploration of the Trinity, says that we have, “essentially extracted Jesus from the Trinity in our concept of God.”
Jesus was separated out in the spirituality we got – he was the suffering servant and our moral exemplar -someone we could imitate. The Spirit was never mentioned except in hushed tones and as the Holy Ghost and he behaved accordingly.
But the Spirit is at the very heart of Christianity – ‘the Lord and giver of life’, we say in the Creed. Ignatius of Laodicea, an Orthodox Bishop claims that: “without the Holy Spirit Christ is merely an historical figure, the Gospel is a dead letter,
the Church is just an organisation, authority is domination, mission is propaganda, liturgy is nostalgia and the work of Christians is slave labour.”
But with the Holy Spirit, ………the Gospel is a living force, the Church is a communion in the life of the Trinity, authority is a service that sets people free….. the liturgy is memory and anticipation and the labour of Christians is divinised.