According to Christian theology God is both three and one. The Catholics invented a word to describe this threeness but oneness: the word “trinity.” Its not a word you can find in the Bible, but there is evidence of it all over the place.
The cool thing about “trinity” is that it means that God, at a fundamental level, is a community. At the center of God’s nature is a relationship… a perfect union of unique three, Father, Son, and Spirit, in perfect unity as one.
In fact, the early Church Fathers used the greek word “perichoresis” to describe the Trinity coming from two greek words: “peri” meaning around, and “choreuo” which is where we get our English word “choreography.”
C. S. Lewis called it a “divine dance.”
According to Genesis 1, the first book of the Bible, human beings were created ‘in the image of God.’ That means we too, at the core, are relational. It means that every human being, created in the image of God, has a deep desire to exist within a network of significant relationships. All of us have a deep longing for community…its imprinted on our nature. We all have a desire to be intimate with other human beings, to share, to communicate, to serve, to connect, to collaborate, to love, …. to dance ….
That being said, there is something of romance in all of us, even those who never find it the way this world defines it. And when we pursue romance and true intimacy in the way our Creator intended, in a strange and mystical way we participate in the divine dance.
The first time I ever slow-danced with a girl I pooped my pants. Literally. I sharted mid-dance to the song “All My Life” by K-C and JoJo at the eighth grade formal. Chocolate soup. Luckily I escaped before anyone noticed and walked home, changed clothes, and came back. That’s already TMI, and there’s way more to that hilarious story.
Sometimes we don’t dance because of the skid-marks that the last attempt has left us with. In other words, we don’t get intimate with people because the last time we did it hurt and we don’t want to hurt again. When you have a broken hand, no matter whose hand you shake its going to hurt. Maybe you have embarrassed yourself, dance awkwardly, or step on enough toes to the point where you are content to stay sitting on the outskirts of the dancefloor drinking cheap punch and grocery store cookies next to the parent-chaperones, and never again take a shot at vulnerability and true intimacy.
And beyond mere romance, maybe you are so afraid of being real with any other human being that you have isolated yourself from your friends, and even when you are surrounded by throngs of co-workers, acquaintances, and roommates, you are completely alone. You don’t want to dance, you don’t want to participate in intimate friendships, let alone romantic situations.
If that’s you there is just one more thing I want to say: You were created to participate in the Divine Dance … the community and connection that comes from having significant relationships with other people and with God. Finish your punch, throw away the last bite of your cookie, run home and change your khaki pants, pop in a stick of gum, get another spray of cologne, and do what you were created to do: join the Dance of God that’s been going on since before the beginning of time: a dance that joins all things in connection, community, and commonality.
All of creation is about a relational connection with each other and with a Creator. Will you give intimacy a try? Will you give vulnerability a try? Will you give…gulp… romance a try? Even if it is awkward, straight-armed, three-feet-away-from-each-other, junior high dancing, will you risk it?
Perichoresis. Let’s dance.
“The world we live in is the dance of the Creator.” Michael Jackson