For thirty years, I had puzzled a deeper truth in Early Christianity’s choice of precisely four gospel texts and their sequencing into a Three-Year Sunday Reading Cycle…
- What lay behind those choices?
- Were they the result of a believed oral tradition? – winners in a protracted theological tussle?
- Or were the four clearly inspired?
On a cold, clear, starry night in Northern New Mexico in November, 2000, an answer arrived that satisfied both my critical mind and longing heart.
I reached for a legal pad and furiously wrote in a first attempt to describe the contour of this new landscape. The journey is universal, sequential, and cyclical. It is recognized by every major religious faith and school of psychology and forms the very heart of Christian belief and practice. I have named this journey, “Quadratos.”
At its most universal, the pattern of Quadratos is found in our experience of the four seasons and their cycle.
Within Christianity, Quadratos provides a deeper understanding of Jesus the Christ and a new foundation for affirming early Christianity’s choice of four gospels and the ancient – now restored – gospel reading sequence for Sunday worship.
The four progressive paths of Quadratos correspond to the four gospels and the four great questions of the spiritual life. Each gospel’s question and practice is revealed within a particular landscape and its human experience.
First Path: How do we face change?
Climbing the Great Mountain of Matthew
Second Path: How do we move through suffering?
Crossing Mark’s Stormy Sea
Third Path: How do we receive joy?
Resting in John’s Glorious Garden
Fourth Path: How do we mature in service?
Walking Luke’s Road of Riches