The definition of hierarchy according to Oxford Dictionaries is: “a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.” Synonyms listed are: “Pecking order, Ranking, Chain of command.” Hierarchy is the holy grail of how things are generally run on planet Earth; whether it’s a country or any organization, someone has to be the boss. It is our understanding that the absence of one constitutes anarchy.
So there’s either hierarchy or anarchy – right?
What about the Trinity? Is the Trinity a hierarchy as we know it? Are two members of the Trinity submitted to a third member, the “ultimate Boss of Creation” or does Trinity stand for the rule of Three, and none of the Three would rule without each other’s input and consent? It seems to me that by asking such questions we could potentially learn from the Trinity how divine hierarchy operates.
Paul wrote about submission in his letter to the Ephesians. He makes an interesting statement that does not fit the scheme of chain of command as we know it. He wrote (Ephesians 5:21):
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
We learn submission from the Best, Christ. That is why Paul wrote in the same letter (Ephesians 5:1-2):
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”
Have you ever noticed that God Almighty submits to His own creation by respecting and working with the decisions His independent creatures make? We wouldn’t be here if this wasn’t the case. God is not interested in dictatorship; He is not even interested in democracy. Submission to one another is His mantra. This is how He rules.
Following the example of Christ we submit to one another regardless of gender, age group, race or position in society. God delights in our appreciation and respect for one another; this is how heaven operates and ultimately, this is God’s kingdom coming to earth, a kingdom that never ends.