Power in the Fellowship of Trinity Towardness
So what were they doing before creating the physical realm?
What were they doing?
John gives a hint:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
Twice this passage reveals their engagement: the Word was with God.
Okay, so they were with each other. But that doesn’t tell us what they were doing, at least, not in English. The English “with” describes the proximity of one thing to another. The Word being with God is not much different than Sue being with Jim.
The Greek pros (translated “with” in this passage) portrays a meaning more active than just a position. Pros relays direction–the destination of something, a motion towards, or forward. Most often pros is translated “to” rather than “with,” though there’s not really an English equivalent.
And so, in the beginning, the Son wasn’t just biding His time beside God. Throughout eternity the Son was towards God. His destination was God, a forward motion, constantly moving towards the other’s nurture and well-being. We call this other-focused relationship “towardness,” Father, Son and Holy Spirit, interwoven in an intricate dance of forever moving forward toward each other, building kingdoms, creating beings as one thrilling, communion of other-focused passion.
Even after becoming flesh the Son continued this motion toward His Father, a truth that provoked most violent persecution. “I and My Father are one” He announced, inciting the religious crowd to throw stones meant to kill. “He claimed to be the Son of God,” they tattled to Pilate demanding crucifixion as punishment.
How terribly awesome, how beautiful, how true and mysterious, this Triune communion, this perfect, undiluted, untainted, wholly satisfying, ever moving, eternal community. But even more mysterious, more staggering to our limited minds, the words of The Word, just before His sacrifice, inviting us to join Him in this relationship of Trinity towardness:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me . . . I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one (John 17:20-23, NKJV).
…the birthing of true Christian community. God exists in eternal towardness, and He created us in that image. Our fellowship is neither Christian nor true if not beginning, ending, and saturated within the communion of the Trinity, through listening prayer, saturation of His word, and loving others. The evidence that we abide in fellowship with God is in how we reflect Trinity towardness in our relationships. They will know we are Jesus’ disciples if we have love for one another.
As we worship our Lord in spirit and truth, it’s more than just a feel-good act of music and praise. It’s a lifestyle of drawing close enough to God that His image is burned into and reflected from us to others. As God moves toward us, we move toward Him, become more like Him, and reflect this fellowship in our community relationships.
Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 1:8; Hebrews 2:7-9; John 1:1-2; 5:19-23; 10:30; 13:35; 15:1-8; 19:7; Philippians 2:1-10; 1 John 1:3,7; 2:24-25
Learn more about the the power of towardness in your life and leadership in Keith’s book, Mastering the Art of Presence-Based Leadership
– Patricia Tillman