The Universal Pattern

Jesus’ Resurrection

The Universal Pattern
Monday, April 22, 2019
Earth Day

To believe that Jesus was raised from the dead is not really a leap of faith. Resurrection and renewal are, in fact, the universal and observable patterns of everything. We might just as well use non-religious terms like springtime, regeneration, healing, forgiveness, life cycles, darkness and light. If incarnation is real, then resurrection in multitudinous forms is to be fully expected. Or to paraphrase a statement attributed to Albert Einstein, it is not that one thing is a miracle, but that the whole thing is a miracle!

If divine incarnation has any truth to it, then resurrection is a foregone conclusion, not a one-time anomaly in the body of Jesus, as our Western theology of the resurrection tried to prove—and of course it couldn’t. The Risen Christ is not a one-time miracle but the revelation of a universal pattern that is hard to see in the short run.

Our job is to figure out not the how or the when of resurrection, but just the what! Leave the how and the when to science and to God. True Christianity and true science are both transformational worldviews that place growth and development at their centers. Both endeavors, each in its own way, cooperate with some Divine Plan; whether God is formally acknowledged may not be that important. As C. G. Jung inscribed over his doorway, Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit, “Invoked or not invoked, God is still present.” [1]

God has worked anonymously since the very beginning—it has always been an inside and secret job.

The Spirit seems to work best underground. When aboveground, humans start fighting about it.

You can call this grace, the indwelling Holy Spirit, or just evolution toward union in love. God is not in competition with anybody, but only in deep-time cooperation with everybody who loves (Romans 8:28). Whenever we place one caring foot forward, God uses it, sustains it, and blesses it. Our impulse does not need to wear the name of religion.

Love is the energy that sustains the universe, moving us toward a future of resurrection. We do not even need to call it love or God or resurrection for its work to be done.

References:
[1] C. G. Jung, Letters: 1951–1961, vol. 2, ed. G. Adler (Princeton University Press: 1975), 611.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent: 2019), 99-100.

Image credit: The Resurrection, 1316-1321, The Church of Holy Savior in Chora, Istanbul, Turkey, Chora Museum, Ayhan Altun / Alamy Stock Photo.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image:
Wake up, sleeper,
Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.
—Ephesians 5:13-14 (Jerusalem Bible)

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