Posted by: cctracker | March 8, 2013

Addendum: Naming “Christ”

As I noted in the last post, the last few weeks have been concentrated days of reflection and listening on the issue of how to articulate key articles of faith in a way that opens the mind to the mysteries they express rather than shutting it down with explanations that instead create “cognitive dissonance” and cause the hearer to withdraw not only from the terms but from the mysteries themselves.

The word “Christ”  has a been a particular focus for me on this score  for many months now.

I first encountered Fr. Richard Rohr–a Franciscan priest, author and speaker– in high school theology classes 40 years ago. He is still writing and teaching. Lately I have been getting his daily posts from The Center for Action and Contemplation.


His post for today brilliantly captures a way to think about who Christ is in a way that honors the Christian tradition, but at the same time opens the mind to a reality that  cannot be held or owned in any tradition. As we face a post-modern cultural context, I am convinced that we need voices like these just as much as those who sound the call for a return to tradition and devotion. Here is his post for today:

Christ Is the Stand-In for Everybody: Richard Rohr

Meditation 13 of 52

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of all who fall asleep.   — 1 Corinthians 15:20St. Paul seldom leaves the message at the level of “believe this fact about Jesus.” He always moves it to “this is what it says about you!” or “this is what it says about history!”

Until we are pulled into the equation, we find it hard to invest ourselves in a distant religious belief. Paul normally speaks of “Christ”—which includes all of creation—for he never knew Jesus “in the flesh” but only as the eternal Body of Christ.

Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private, tragic pain of history made public and given over to God. Christ Resurrected is all suffering received, loved, and transformed by an All-Caring God. How else could we have any kind of cosmic hope? How else would we not die of sadness for what humanity has done to itself and to one another?The cross is the standing statement of what we do to one another and to ourselves. The resurrection is the standing statement of what God does to us in return.

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