You will be asked to write a little prose, draw a storyboard, and pen a small poem! Really? Truly? And learn about the purpose and some meanings for John’s Gospel at the same time. And for good measure a healthy dose of geometry thrown in. It's not your average Sunday. This is going to be a time when you can ask questions, and get just hints, whispers of answers. In fact, it may not really be possible to begin to understand John's Gospel unless you become something of a creative writer. Pen a small poem? Yes, you can.
Copy of the kylix found at Delphi depicting the god Apollo
Consider, for a moment, some of the books you have read. Do you remember the first sentence from any of them? I can remember three opening sentences: two of them are from the Bible, the other is from a play rather than a book. Naturally we might learn by heart other sentences and speeches and poems, but it is the opening gambit that has the power to draw us in, to make us want to read further. As the plot unfolds, however, those first lines usually recede, and newer more powerful words and phrases embed themselves in the memory. A different reality emerges.
The strange role of the Septuagint
The linguistic link we need to really grapple with is the context of the logos. How does the Hebrew Bible's opening “In the beginning, God created” end up as the Word in John's Gospel? That's why we need to create prose, and draw images translated from that prose, and find the poetic rhythm within ourselves to gain focus on what is really happening when we open Scriptures and begin to interpret. But geometry has more light to shed on this process in John's Gospel than first you might think.
The connection between the prose and the poetry in John's gospel is mediated by the language of geometry.
Exploring faith in community
So to do this faith exploration well, we need to spend some time in church and become involved as the community at worship which writes, draws, finds the logos. As Henryk Skolimowski wrote, "What the universe becomes depends on you. Treat it like a machine and it becomes a machine. Treat it like a divine place and it becomes a divine place. Treat it indifferently and ruthlessly and it becomes an indifferent and ruthless place. Treat it with love and care and it becomes a loving and caring place." (from A Sacred Place To Dwell) So join us at Trinity-at-Waiake last three Sundays in March and awaken the possibility that humanity and divinity may meet not just in the remarkable fourth gospel but wherever we begin to think with faith.