“Well Trav, how does it feel now that Taylor Swift has put you on the map?” Jason Kelce, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, teasingly asked his brother, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After Taylor Swift attended the Kansas City game against the Bears on Sunday evening, Kelce’s already famous life suddenly gained newfound notoriety. Swifties, Taylor Swift’s fans, have developed an interest in the NFL overnight. In just 48 hours, Kelce’s Chiefs jersey sales skyrocketed by 400%. Now, people who had never shown any interest in the NFL are paying attention to the Kansas City team.
In our world today, there is growing recognition of the value of a genuine spiritual connection. However, this value no longer solely revolves around “church” or religious affiliations as we traditionally understand them.
Imagine if we were all willing to dive deeper into understanding the divine, and this exploration had a profound impact, allowing more and more people to experience the presence of Christ. What if religion could serve a positive purpose instead of something the masses want to avoid?
In order for this to happen, let us start by reframing our understanding of Christ and deconstruction the age-old idea that Christ is Jesus’ last name.
Christ is the Spirit that flows out from God and permeates all things in physical form.
We (as some of those physical forms) have an amazing opportunity to become aware of that indwelling in each of us. Just like St. Francis did when he encountered that leper, we hopefully have an encounter when we become aware of that presence in us. Our “aha” moment (some would call it being “saved”).
So, what does a new understanding of “Christ” mean for us?
How does “Christ” have a different function or role from the person of Jesus?
What did Peter mean when he, after they felt the Spirit rest on them in the Upper Room (Pentecost), when he said, “God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
Weren’t they “one” from the time of Jesus’ birth?
Let’s go back to the understanding of Creation.
Here are some questions that trying to understand Creation unearths.
“What was God up to in those first moments of creation?”
“Was God invisible before the universe began?”
“Is there a “before” God?”
“How long as the universe existed?”
So . . . let’s try to agree that we will not ever know with exact certainty the answer to most of these questions. We won’t know the “how” or “when” of all creation.
The question religion seeks to answer, however, is not the “how” or “when,” but “why?”
(And perhaps this is where religion went off the rails, in trying to explain things humans really can’t explain).
“Is there evidence for why God created the heavens and earth? Is there evidence for why God created? Was there any divine intention or goal? Do we even need a creator “God” to explain the universe?” (The Universal Christ, Rohr, 12).
We do believe we have some answers to the “why” and we will explore these in the days ahead.
Buckle up. It’s a deep but powerful ride.
If you are interested in going further, I invite you to read or listen to,
The Universal Christ