Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

A Bigger Story Line

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Cosmic Christ: Week 2

A Bigger Story Line
Monday, April 3, 2017

Christ is the Archetype and Model for the rest of creation as Scripture clearly teaches (Ephesians 1:3-14; Colossians 1:15-20). Yet Christians have instead focused on proving that Jesus is “God,” which felt necessary to put our group out in front and to solidify our own ranks. By pulling Jesus out of the Trinity and making him a mere “problem solver,” Christianity has no overarching vision or explanation for what it all means. We haven’t fully understood how the Christ “holds all things together” (Colossians 1:17). We were more eager to make Jesus the “top” than to make him the “whole,” and thus we ended up with a religion largely concerned with exclusion.

As a result, Christianity constantly divided into smaller tribes. “Why do you try to parcel up Christ?” Paul asked (see 1 Corinthians 1:13). Jesus became an arguable “text” outside of any larger “context.” If the Eternal Christ is forgotten or ignored, Jesus becomes far too small, a mere local “god” instead of a universal principle. Many Christians still see the universe as incoherent, without inherent sacredness, a center, direction, or purpose beyond personal survival itself. Many Christians focus on “saving their own soul” with little care for the world as a whole. Massive disbelief is the result. It is hard to feel privately holy or good when the universe is neither holy nor good.

No wonder science and reason have now taken over as “the major explainers” of meaning for much of the world. Jesus was indeed a deep and life-changing encounter for some people, but the official Church often showed little evidence of his universal love. Christians brought Jesus to the “New World,” but hardly ever Christ, as we see from our treatment of indigenous peoples and the earth. Most slave owners and proponents of apartheid fully identified as “Christians.” Lots of mop-up work is required of Christianity for the rest of history, after we dragged poor Jesus through our mud.

We failed to offer the world universal meaning, and now we live in a postmodern and largely post-Christian world that denies any “big story line” or purpose to existence. Most progressive people deny all truth claims and metanarratives as mere grabs for power. So instead of universal hope, we live inside of cosmic cynicism and we retreat into small identity politics. This is a major crisis and loss of inherent dignity to the whole human project. All the extravagances, technologies, and entertainments will never be able to fill such a foundational hole in the human psyche. In other words, the world—even most of the Christian world—has yet to hear the Gospel!

Gateway to Silence:
In Christ, with Christ, through Christ

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014), 215-216.

Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.