“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” NRSV
I love the language Fr. Rohr adopts to describe who Jesus is in this passage from John.
“Remember, when we speak of Advent or preparing for Christmas, we’re not just talking about waiting for the little baby Jesus to be born. That already happened 2,000 years ago. In fact, we’re welcoming the Universal Christ, the Cosmic Christ, the Christ that is forever being born in the human soul and into history.
And believe me, we do have to make room, because right now there is no room in the inn for such a mystery. We see things pretty much in their materiality, but we don’t see the light shining through. We don’t see the incarnate spirit that is hidden inside of everything material.” Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 12.21.19
The terms “Universal Christ” and “Cosmic Christ” are not everyday descriptions we use to talk about Jesus, though they are quite fitting. To be honest, they have not made their way into my daily lexicon of ways to talk about Jesus primarily because they make Jesus too distant, beyond reach, too far removed from the intimacy I need with Jesus as Lord. Giving Jesus a cosmic address, even though appropriate, makes it feel like he is beyond my prayer towers signal.
What Fr. Rohr is reminding us here is that when Jesus becomes too parochial, only near and not cosmic in scope, we strip him of his power to transform our lives. From his cosmic seat Jesus can see what we lack, the consequences of our bad choices, how much potential we have yet to live into, and how the answer to all these things can be found in the people and opportunities around us. We just can’t see them. Our current circumstances and misguided choices fence us in with fear and darkness.
That’s where the light comes in.
“What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Jesus “forever being born in the human soul and into history” comes to the world, to us, through the light that dispels our fears and darkness, gives sight beyond our blind spots, awakens us to new possibilities we couldn’t see before, and lights the pathway God is calling us to walk toward our true selves.
That is the journey of Advent. It calls us forth toward the light of Jesus. It is the gift of a new opportunity, a new beginning, a new life. What better place to celebrate such a gift than around the manger of the Christ child…who is both intimately near enough to hear our prayers, and cosmic enough to know the way we must go?
Be a blessing to someone today!