Bill and I got up this morning and picked out our wardrobe for today, Easter Sunday. We had decided (I had urged this upon him, really) that we would dress in our Sunday best, watch the live streaming services from both our church Sharpsburg Baptist Church, and from the church in our hometown, New Albany First Baptist Church, and then have Easter Dinner (alone) in our finery. There was quite a to-do over what Bill should wear. I finally found his light blue spring suit, but it was afternoon before we actually got dressed. The “smart TV” outsmarted me, and I was unable to get both services as I had last week.
After an hour and a half of wrangling with two remotes, I finally did manage to stream the hometown service at noon Eastern Time and watched along with our family in Mississippi. The young pastor preached the gospel with passion to his empty church, and we as well as many others who texted “Amens” enjoyed the sermon and the music provided by six of the regular choir members standing at the prescribed six feet apart.
It was very sweet. And as I often do when reminded of a Risen Christ, of the Father Jesus called to from the cross and of the Spirit who is and was ever present, I love to reread portions of C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity.” I am reminded that upon reading that treasure for the first time, I was able to put together in my mind a rather cogent and concrete understanding of some Very Big Concepts.
So much of what I will share here has been gleaned almost entirely from Lewis’ book. The summations are the product of years and years of his study, his thought, prayer and deep, deep thinking—more study, more work with biblical theories and models—till finally he came to see and to share what I believe is a most perceptible explanation of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity.
Now here is what I believe Lewis proposes: Time must be looked at as letters on a page. Each of us is, for example, one letter. One single letter in a word, in a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter, a book. Time for us—the Present, the Past and the Future can only be seen or imagined in a very small segment of the word, of the line.
But, God sees the entire page! The entire manuscript is laid out for His eyes. Yes. He knows what we will do tomorrow, because He sees it as “Already Done.” What a clear and rational explanation of Time that was for me. It is not so much linear as it is all-encompassing; behind us, in front of us, above and below us. Now envision that book, that page, those sentences, that word, and there we are—a single letter—espied by God—the Power House of All Energy. Pulsing, living, breathing—a Being who is LOVE…for Love is God.
Now imagine all the pages, folios that create the manuscript—All Time—all of us, everyone now, before, and after—everybody is IN THIS BOOK OF LIFE!! Now, do you remember Mod Podge and decoupage? Not to be irreverent, but just imagine God dampening the sheets of that manuscript and laying the leaves over—not a flat surface that has an edge, or an end—but He skillfully and lovingly places the moist page over a Globe-like frame or sphere. Then another and another. What we call History and what we think, imagine and dream of as the Future are all laid out, smoothed onto an Orb—rather like our Earth.
And those of us who believe that God, this all-powerful, eternal energy has created this Earth, and has caused it to be populated by living creatures, many smaller than the eye can see, and some as large as an African Elephant, then all who believe in this God believe He made all things to be Good.
When God came to Earth, an Earth that had changed from what the Creator had envisioned, He came in the human form of His Son. Jesus, who for eternity has sat at God’s right side; He came to offer Himself as a sacrifice in order that all mankind could again be Good; that each soul who had sinned (and that was every soul) might be saved from darkness to live in the light of His eternal love.
C.S. Lewis described the relationship between God, the Father, and His Son as a dance. Think of the Energy of these two entities—each part of a whole—creating the Third from the Love and Joy of their Dance! That creation is the Holy Spirit!! And so, we have The Trinity. Just as Jesus stands beside us, always there to hear our prayers, to love and comfort us, the Spirit is within us— that, too, is a part of God!
I remember Ralph Waldo Emerson describing that concept as each of us being “part and parcel of God.” His words were “…[T]he currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God.” I cannot for the life of me find the source, the book, or essay which that quote comes from.
Well, that is my clumsy (and yes, perhaps plagiarized) understanding of Time, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Eternity is being with these three in Heaven. Without God and Jesus and the Spirit, there is only—death and darkness. But through Jesus, the Son of Man, Son of God, there is life and light.
*Note: Yes, much of this may be verbatim from “Mere Christianity.” Much of what is here is something I wrote in a journal dated 2017, so I am not sure where my words and Lewis’ overlap. I even realized as I typed the final words of this essay that I had unintentionally borrowed the phrase “life and light” used most recently (but not for the first time, I am sure) by England’s Queen Elizabeth.