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Shared Power

Trinity: Week 2

Shared Power
Monday, March 6, 2017

The God of Jesus Christ exists entirely for, with, through another. The law of personhood is that the only way one “has” oneself at all is by giving oneself away. —Catherine Mowry LaCugna [1]

What if we actually dropped into this Trinitarian flow and let it be our major teacher? Even our very notion of society, politics, and authority would utterly change, because most of it is still top down and outside in.

Trinitarian theology says that true power is circular or spiral, not so much hierarchical. It’s here; it’s within us. It’s shared and shareable; it’s already entirely for us. We have the power of “the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). God’s Spirit is planted within you and operating as you! Don’t keep looking to the top of the pyramid. Stop idolizing the so-called “Top 1 %.” There’s nothing worthwhile up there that is not also down here. Worst of all, it has given much of the world an unnecessary and tragic inferiority complex. Trinity says that God’s power is not domination, threat, or coercion, but of a totally different nature, one that even Jesus’ followers have not yet adjusted to. If the Father does not dominate the Son, and the Son does not dominate the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit does not dominate the Father or the Son, then there’s no domination in God. All divine power is shared power. This should have entirely changed Christian religion, politics, and relationships.

There’s no seeking of power over in the Trinity, but only power with—a giving away, a sharing, a letting go, and thus an infinity of trust and mutuality. This has the power to change all relationships: in marriage, in politics, and even in international relations. YHWH already tried to teach such servanthood to Israel in the four “servant songs” in Isaiah (42-53) in order to train them in being “light to all nations” (Isaiah 49) but their history predicted what Christianity perfectly repeated: we both preferred kings and empires instead of any suffering servanthood.

Gateway to Silence:
In the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit

[1] Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God For Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (HarperSanFrancisco: 1991), 398. 

Adapted from Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 95-96.

Image credit: Three Russian Dancers (detail), Edgar Degas, 1895, National Museum, Stockholm Sweden.