Getting Into the Circle

by Charlotte Long, Youth Ministries

Firstly, let's remember that Jesus was not a one-time response from God to humanity. If we want to get deeply into the Trinity (and I do!), then Jesus didn't just appear and then disappear at the convenient moment. The Trinity is forever; the Trinity has always been; the Trinity is working with us in this minute of time. With that in mind, why do we always cling to the title of "Christ the King"? Wasn't he just born to us a baby, lowly and powerless? Didn't we just hear the birth story again and wonder at the marvel of so much lowliness? Perhaps it is because as humans we are so invested in the "celebrity," the hierarchy of importance, power and money. We must know who is in charge! We must take! And keep! And follow the rules! We're more comfortable with the pyramid reality, with the notion that power is held at the top and we down below can't possibly make a difference or be held accountable. We quickly made the meek and humble of heart (Mt 11:29) into the all-powerful monarch.

And yet Jesus was relational. Jesus was interested not in the power "out there," but in the divine in here. Trinitarian theology says that spiritual power is much more circular or spiral. As Richard Rohr says, "Circles are much more threatening than pyramids are, at least to empires, the wealthy, or any patriarchal system. What if we actually surrendered to the inner Trinitarian flow and let it be our primary teacher? Even our notion of society, politics, and authority-which is still top-down and outside-in-would utterly change." The circle of the Trinity tells us: the endless Emptying of Self leads to being continually filled with the Divine - a giving away and sharing. God's power is not coercion or domination or threat. The power of God is about the Circle.

How do we get into the flow of the Circle? Look to those who Jesus says are blessed: the marginalized, the poor, the outcast, the afflicted. I would add to that: the homosexual, the refugee, the person of color, the gender non-former, the homeless, the Native. These are who the Western World has suppressed. "One of the most transformative experiences is entering into some form of lifestyle solidarity with the powerless. It's like changing sides from the ego side of things, and this is what changes you. We don't think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. (Rohr)"