Friday, January 13, 2017

Watching the Branches Move

Having lived in the Pacific Northwest during winter, I am used to seeing trees maintain their pines all year round, creating a green curtain that covers up the trees that lost their seasonal leaves. Now living on the East Coast, I am astounded at how much further I can see when the trees lose their leaves. Today as I was working on an assignment in front of a tall window in the library I watched the tree branches sway in the wind. In the next few months, the leaves will reappear and I will be glad to see green hills again instead of brown, but this is a season of examining the core movements.

In my January class, the professor discussed the idea that one of the main opponents of Chalcedon (declaring Jesus Christ as having two natures (perfect humanity and perfect divinity) in one person) was arguing for the same ideas Chalcedon supported. Their disagreement was based on two different uses of the same Greek word. Now that scholars are in a different season, one which features the distinguishable English terms 'nature' and 'person', they are able to look back and examine the core arguments and see that the opponents were actually in agreement, though they didn't realize it at the time.

Do we sometimes cling to leaves that sometimes need to fall in order for us to watch the core movements? Such leaves may include different forms of technology and social media, busy schedules, relationships, etc. (In the time surround Chalcedon, the leaves included various definitions of particular terms and the assumption that one's interpretation of it matched others and the stress of needing to come up with a clear view of who Jesus Christ was in order to confront heresies that were spreading.)

Are there regular seasons in life when leaves change, or do we find ourselves clinging too long in one season when there is more to be seen?

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