Three In One
Theologian Elizabeth Johnson (born 1941) explores what each person in the Trinity offers to us in our experience of the world and why it matters. This is from a daily devotional from the Center of Action and Contemplation on June 8, 2023.
God is God as Spirit-Sophia, the mobile, pure, people-loving Spirit who pervades every wretched corner, wailing at the waste, releasing power that enables fresh starts. Her energy quickens the earth to life, her beauty shines in the stars, her strength breaks forth in every fragment of shalom and renewal…. From generation to generation she enters into holy souls, and not so holy ones, to make them friends of God and prophets, thereby making human beings allies of God’s redeeming purpose. What we can say is this: Sophia-God dwells in the world at its center and at its edges, an active vitality crying out in labor, birthing the new creation. Fire, wind, water, and the color purple are her signs.
God is God again as Jesus Christ, Sophia’s child and prophet, and yes, Sophia herself personally pitching her tent in the flesh of humanity to teach the paths of justice. The shape of the historical life of this crucified prophet, risen from the dead, reveals the shape of Holy Wisdom’s love for the world. It is a love that enters in and takes part, that revels at the feasting of outcasts in inclusive table community…. What we can say is this: Sophia-God is irreversibly connected with the joy and anguish of human history, in the flesh; in the power of Spirit-Sophia Jesus now takes on a new communal identity as the risen Christ, the body of all those women and men who share in the transformation of the world through compassionate, delighting, and suffering love. In solidarity with his memory and empowered by the same Spirit, the little flock is configured into a sacrament of the world’s salvation, empowered to shape communities of freedom and solidarity.
God is God again as unimaginable abyss of livingness…. Without this still-point of the turning world there would be no dance, and there is only the dance; without this silence there would be no music or word, which is where she can be heard; without this eclipse the rays of her fiery spirit would consume the world. What we can say is this: Holy Wisdom is a hidden God, absolute holy mystery. And this is an absolutely holy mystery of love, bent on the world’s healing and liberation through all of history’s reversals and defeats.
Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, 10th anniv. ed. (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2002), 213–214.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”