Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Life is in the Blood

Last week, I laid out the beginnings of a trinitarian account of the human family.  I'd like to elaborate a little more on the subject. 

Just as it was "not good for the man to be alone" in Eden, the human male desires fellowship with his own kind.  And, because he is created in the image of God, he desires to produce offspring in imitation of his heavenly Father.

The Lord God gave Adam a "help-meet" to accomplish this purpose, which purpose is articulated explicitly in the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:28-29.  The Woman was given to Man to assist him in his work, a common endeavor for the entire human race to fulfill.

As the Holy Ghost proceeds first from the Father, so, analogically, the Woman was drawn from Man's side. 

In the divine economy (not to be confused with what theologians call the "Economic Trinity") the Spirit of Love proceeds (or spirates) outward from the Father and cooperates in the generation (or filiation) of the Son.  Here, I'm not sure whether it's correct to say the Holy Ghost participates in the activity of filiation.  The Son then returns adoration to the Father by sending the Spirit back to the Father.*  The circle is thus complete, but the process continues as paternal gift eternally giving and filial response eternally returning ever ascend in joyful fellowship.

[*This may well aid us in understanding the NT teaching that the Son is the express Image of the Father's Person (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3) illuminated and reflecting back the Father's glory.]

As I wrote last week, in the human economy "the natural constitution of the human race is familial. It was originally thus, and so it will always be until the end of time. The normal transmission of human heritage (goods both material and immaterial) has been from parent to offspring, especially from the father to his firstborn son. It is hoped that the bond of blood energized by the synergy of paternal love and filial adoration, will provide the medium for the successful transmission of parental aspirations and values (duties and rights). In this way, a family spirit is spirated (produced through spiration) and perpetuated within the family community."

As the human mother is the biological link between the human father and his offspring, so the mother is the medium and embodiment of familial love.  The mother is the glory of the human family; she is the heart of the home.  Meant to forever dwell in the bosom of her husband, in intimate fellowship with him, her body that both housed and nurtured her children remains the symbol of self-giving love that forever inspires their undying affection and loyalty.

There is a beautiful proportionality here.  The child loves his father through his mother; the father loves his child through his wife.  The woman finds her completion, her fulfillment, in the synergy of paternal-filial love; the man-father accomplishes his created purpose to be a father; and in the child-offspring a new life with new potential enters the world.

This new potential is twofold.  Together, the father and mother watch with pride as their male offspring initiates a new process of paternal spiration and filiation.  Together, they look on with happiness as their daughter, who they have given to another, realizes her feminine destiny of embodied love.  In these ways, human love is conserved and perpetuated in humanity, and shared with other human families.  Thus, the command to be fruitful and multiply is accomplished.

This is life!  This is joy!

Postscript:  During Holy Communion last Sunday I had opportunity to consider anew the gift of the blood of Christ.  It seems to me that reception of the blood of Jesus makes us literally part of his natural family, i.e.,  of his blood, through a mysterious spiritual action effected by the Holy Spirit.  The Son of God assumed our flesh that he might sustain us by his Life, the same Life that was shared in the divine Trinity since before the worlds were created.

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