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COME HOLY SPIRIT - Report from Taize Part 3

I find myself fascinated by the way the Taize Community claims and proclaims a richly, powerfully, dynamic, active embrace of the Holy Spirit.  In many of our churches the Holy Spirit is the last element of the Holy Trinity,  tossed in as almost an afterthought.  We have neglected the Spirit at our peril and impoverishment.  There  is little stress here on the first person of the Trinity as a vague philosophical thought.  God is present through Christ in the Spirit dynamically! It is fascinating to behold how high the Christology is at Taize and how deeply wrapped in the pneumatology (the Holy Spirit).  The two (Christ and the Holy Spirit) are distinct and yet seemingly inseparable.  One day Rev. Larry Duggins and I had the privilege of eating lunch with the Brothers as the guest of the leader of the Taize Community, Brother Alyoius.  I asked him, "What is the one message you would like to say to any bishop in the church regardless of nationality or denomination?"  He answered quickly without pause, "Stay close to Christ." Vague deism is absent in the Taize Community.  The vibrant personality of the Trinitarian God speaks forth.  The songs, prayer, communion (every morning) -- all serve as elements of opening the worshipper to the personal agency of God active in our lives.  The Bible stresses the Lordship of Christ.  The songs are drenched in the intimate language of the Holy Spirit. Marvelously open to others of a differing faith conviction, the Taize Community is nonetheless anchored in its Christology and pneumatology.  Sloppy pluralism doesn't raise its head.  The embrace of the full personalism of the Holy Trinity (3 persons in 1 essence) is paramount.  The songs in particular are both prayer and theology; teaching (doctrine) and witness. The Taize Community has much to teach the United Methodist Church at this juncture.  Wesley spoke strongly against a vague deism in his day.  The robust theology of the Trinity in action at Taize is echoed in the songs of Charles Wesley.  We need to reclaim our deeply Trinitarian core.  Once again Christology and pneumatology need to take center place in the life of the church as a believing and acting community of faith.