Jesus and Christ
Another Name for Every Thing
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
What if Christ is a name for the transcendent within of every “thing” in the universe?
The Christ Mystery anoints all physical matter with eternal purpose from the very beginning. The word translated from the Greek as Christ comes from the Hebrew word mesach, meaning “the anointed” one or Messiah. He reveals that all is anointed! Many people are still praying and waiting for something that has already been given to us three times: first in creation; second in Jesus, “so that we could hear him, see him with our eyes, watch him, and touch him with our hands, the Word who is life” (1 John 1–2); and third, in the ongoing beloved community (what Christians call the Body of Christ), which is slowly evolving throughout all of human history (Romans 8:18). We are still in the Flow.
All of us take part in the evolving, universe-spanning Christ Mystery. Jesus is a map for the time-bound and personal level of life; Christ is the blueprint for all time and space and life itself. Both reveal the universal pattern of self-emptying and infilling (Christ) and death and resurrection (Jesus), which is the process humans have called “holiness,” “salvation,” or “growth.” For Christians, this universal pattern perfectly mimics the inner life of the Trinity in Christian theology , which is our template for how reality unfolds, since all things are created “in the image and likeness” of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
For me, a true comprehension of the full Christ Mystery is the key to the foundational reform of the Christian religion, which alone will move us beyond any attempts to corral or capture God into our exclusive group. As the New Testament dramatically and clearly puts it, “Before the world was made, we have been chosen in Christ . . . claimed as God’s own and chosen from the very beginning . . . so that God could bring everything together under the headship of Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, 10, 11). If all of this is true, we have a theological basis for a very natural religion that includes everybody. The problem was solved from the beginning!
 For a fuller treatment of the Trinity, see my book with Mike Morell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016). Trying to understand the Trinity is foundational to trying to understand the Universal Christ.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent Books: 2019), 5, 20-21.