“Paul is saying [in Romans 8] that what the Spirit does in us is to draw us into a relationship, a loving relationship into which we are adopted as children of God. This relationship is the relationship between Jesus and his Abba or Father. As the Spirit brings Christ’s life to birth in our life, we find ourselves sharing with Christ in the most central and characteristic aspect of his life–namely the relationship that defines him and marks him as God’s beloved child, his relationship with God as the loving source of his whole life. And more wonderfully yet, we find taht we do not remain mute observers of this relationship, but that the Spirit actually teaches us the very language of Jesus’ conversation with the Father. The Spirit puts Jesus’ words of loving adoration and trust in our own hearts and makes it possible for us to speak them ourselves.
…This experience of Paul and the early Christians is the basis of our understanding of God as Trinity, as a ‘conversation’ taking place between Jesus and the Father in their Spirit. We will look more closely at this in the next chapter on the mystery of the Trinity. In my own view, the growing recognition within the Christian community that something unbelievable was happening to them marks the birth of Christian theology: the community was being plunged by the Spirit not just into Jesus’ life, but into his relationship with the Father. The Spirit who animates Jesus’ relationship with the Father is no alien force; the Spirit is God as relationship, as the love who draws Jesus to the Father and the Father to Jesus. And because it is this same God the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell in the church’s life, we too are drawn into Jesus’ life of relationship with the Father. In fact, we could even say that the Spirit is this relationship between the the Father and the Son, that that the Spirit is the power, the loving energy of the Speaker’s speaking of the Word. And this divine speech comes, by the Spirit’s power, to break out in our life as church at Pentecost.
…The Speaker speaks the eternal love and that love, being divine and infinitely living, takes form and sound and shape, is eternally the living Word of that living Speaker. And not content simply to enjoy this conversation between themselves, the Speaker and the Word, the Father and the Son, bring a universe into being as a term of endearment, a phrase in their eternal dialogue of love.
It is this conversation, so vast and awesome and beyond our imagination’s grasp, that God desires to have us join. Indeed, we were created for that very purpose, created to be a pungent, peculiar, prickly but much-loved part of speech, created to participate in the communion which is God’s very life…The Holy Spirit draws us into Jesus’ life and fills us with his longing for the Father…We begin to learn this language by which Jesus and the Father converse, and to enter into their communion, their life. The One who draws us into their mutual giving life, the One who teaches us to cry out in their language, is God again–God the Holy Spirit, who has from eternity been the love who draws the Speaker into speech, and fills the Word with yearning to speak the Speaker’s Meaning, to do the will of the Father.
…In our world, the loving joy of the divine self-communication (theology) takes the form of being sent by the Father, being led by the Spirit, and giving ourselves freely in love into the hands of others–both divine and human…If we come to live more theologically, then the rhythms and cadences of this language of divine self-communication will also become more natural, more native to our life. As we become more native speakers of theology, the language of God’s life, we find ourselves able to communicate with reality ever more deeply, to sense something of that communion of love that the whole universe is created to enjoy. And it is the momentum of this divine communion, set loose in us through fellowship with Christ, that transforms our understanding, reconciling us to those we find difficult, breaking down walls of division, sending us into night shelters, turning us into chefs in soup kitchens.” (Mark McIntosh, Mysteries of Faith, pp. 15-21)