This image, or at least the beginnings of it, came to me as I was coming down from the Blue Mountains this afternoon.
In essence, it’s a Christ centered reinterpretation of the sacred marriage, though, in retrospect, it could equally function as a Christ centered reinterpretation of the tree of life.
There are some obvious references to the Trinity and the Incarnation, but it also captures my understanding of the reconciling power of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Scriptural inspiration includes the following quotes:
Revelation 21:1-4 – “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
1 Timothy 2:5 – “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 23:11-12 – “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
2 Corinthians 13:14 – “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Note: I have retained the traditional “Father” and “Son” language, despite the problematic gender bias, as I find the alternatives on offer are generally awkward and struggle to capture the inter-relationships within the Trinity adequately. That being said, here is an alternative interpretation and you’d like to discuss the gender language issues further I’d invite you to continue reading The sacred marriage in Pagan and Christian dialogue.