I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Fr. Richard Rohr’s series this week about the Universal Christ (I’ll include links below). The man keeps outdoing himself, what can I say?
I don’t know if it’s legal or not, but I really want to copy and paste the text into a document, give it some nice formatting, and print it out to give to friends and family for Christmas to show them what the religion of their youth likely failed to point out about Jesus and the Christ.
But then I’d be that guy at Christmas dinner pushing my ‘religion’ on people, wouldn’t I? The jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll be bold enough to do this, but at least I have you, dear reader, to ‘push my religion on’:)
As Rohr states, the problem is that much of our Christian religion has focused on the symbol of the thing, not the thing itself.
…for the last 2,000 years, we have not understood the Cosmic Christ. We fell in love with the symbol instead of what Jesus fully represented. To love “Jesus, the Christ” is to love both the symbol and everything that he stands for — which is precisely everything. This lays a wonderful foundation for a new consciousness and a new cosmology — and a very different notion of religion itself.
Which made me think, it’s not called Jesusianity, it’s called Christianity. This should’ve been our first clue. After all, Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name (how shocked I was to have learned that).
Much of our Christian religion has focused on the symbol of the thing (Jesus), not the thing itself (Christ).
Again, from Rohr…
Christ is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of God’s nature, sustaining the universe by God’s powerful command. — Hebrews 1:3, Jerusalem Bible
Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ is a title, meaning the Anointed One, which many Christians so consistently applied to Jesus that to us it became like a name. But a study of Scripture, Tradition, and the experience of many mystics reveals a much larger, broader, and deeper meaning to “the Christ.”
The above passage from Hebrews says that Christ “sustains the universe.” The concept of Christ can be used to describe reality in an archetypal, symbolic, and profound way. But it names the shape of the universe before it names the individual who typifies that shape, the one we call Jesus Christ. All of creation first holds God’s anointing (“beloved” status), and then Jesus brings the message home in a personal way over thirteen billion years later!
By delineating Jesus and the Christ, everything makes sense. This is the only light that I can call myself a Christian in. And I can embrace Jesus in a whole new life-affirming perspective.
Here are the links of Rohr’s ‘Universal Christ’ series for you to peruse…