This begins a new series that you will hopefully find enjoyable and resourceful. You see, despite the fact that we throw all kinds of lofty ideas and abstract thoughts at you in this blog, Sean and I are both down-to-earth, practicing local church worship leaders (or music ministers, or song leaders, or whatever title I finally land on for the moment). And since we struggle along with many of you in our actual implementation of this crazy, theologically-informed worship stuff, we thought we'd bring it down to earth with this series.

So "Originals" will be occasional postings of our original songs, particularly ones that have gone over well in our congregations. Each post will contain an audio recording, lyrics, chord chart, song story, and a commentary on the song. Feel free to leave comments of your own.

Communion with the Trinity
(c) 2008 Ryan Flanigan

I want to know You, God
In Your sweet embrace
And Your touch of grace from above
I want to know You, God
When you call my name
And Your Church the same in Your love

We want to know, we want to know You, God
We want to know, we want to know You, God

Like the Spirit who in Virgin womb conceived the Father’s Son
Like the Savior knows the God of those the Spirit joins as one
And as You imagine us to be in communion with the Trinity
We want to know You, God, we want to know

A glorious awakening, a revelation Word
An intimate enlightening, a voice that we have heard
To know You, and to be known by You
To know You, and to be known by You

Click here to download the chord chart.

I began writing this song two years ago, and I finished it a few months ago. Believe it or not, it was mainly the verse that was giving me trouble, and parts of the chorus. I knew I wanted the concept of the song to revolve around a desire to know God as intimately as the Persons of the Godhead know each other. I was discouraged at the outset of crafting this song because the few people who heard it said it was too wordy and "Why can't you just write something simple?" I wrestled with that for a while but really believed the concept of the chorus was too rich to throw out, especially the Trinitarian play on words. But it wasn't until I had the epiphanic reminder of the downward movement of Triune Love a few months ago that I "got" the words for the verse. The only way for me to know God, to love Him as He loves, is for Him to first know me, to love me. Hence, the incarnational imagery in the first half of the verse. But the already finished chorus also pointed to the unity of all believers (second line of the chorus). This desire for knowing God is not only personal/individual, it is corporate. Concerning the first line of the chorus, I went back and forth in my mind whether or not to use the present tense “conceives," but I settled on the Protestant view, past tense "conceived." Catholics can use the present tense if they want. One more thing, the original title of the song was "Reflection of the Trinity," which is what the third line of the chorus originally said. I changed it to "Communion with the Trinity" a couple months ago.

This song is about my personal desire and the Church’s desire to know God more. The verse begins with the incarnation of the God who embraces me, who comes down from above in grace and touches me, who calls my name and knows me. But the verse doesn’t end in that personal relationship, it expands to an even greater level, God’s intimacy with the Church, the gathered community of His people. We, the Church, want to know God as He knows us.

The chorus then gives us a snippet of perfect communion, the communion of the Persons of the Godhead. We want to know (conceive in our minds and hearts) God as intimately as the Spirit knew Mary. The Father’s Son, Jesus, was conceived of the Virgin by the Spirit. Talk about intimate knowing! That’s how I (and the Church) want to know God. The second line is from the perspective of the Son. Jesus knew, and still knows, God the Father so perfectly that He said over and over again, “I and the Father are one.” This God is the same God who gave up His Son to death, and then, after rising and ascending, Jesus and His Dad teamed up and sent Their Spirit who now unites us God-people into Christ, who is in perfect communion with His Father. Now we are one with the Father through Christ. We want to know God in this way. But it doesn’t end there, indeed it will never end. We want to know (imagine) God just as he knew (imagined) us when They (the Godhead) created us in Their “image” and likeness. Imagine imagining God as He imagined us in His image! We want to know God like that. We want to let our imagination run wild with infinite creativity as creatures of the Creator.

The bridge then takes us into the knowledge that God is the one who pursued and pursues us, who embraces us, who wakes us up by the power of His Word, the special revelation of God, who enlightens our minds to see what is the hope of this calling, the call from His voice to us. We want to know Him, or rather, as the apostle Paul says, to be known by Him, because it is only when we walk in the knowledge that He knows us that we will not once again turn from Him and walk according to the weak and worthless elementary principles of this world. When we walk with Him we get to know Him better. We, His community, His body, walk with Him by His Spirit. Thank You, God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - for knowing us first, that we might know You.

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