Below you will find an excerpt from Ilia Delio’s The Emergent Christ, a book which has accompanied me — or guided me — in the final days of Lent. She describes the Resurrection as a new Big Bang bringing about a New Creation and, hopefully, a new heart in each one of us.
Viewed in a certain way, the Trinity decided to incarnate in Jesus to show us the divine way to live. Then Jesus had to die, resurrect as the Christ, and return to his Father, so that the Spirit could be released and bring about this New Creation which we each are called to bring about. [Please excuse my simple mind which can only express a beautiful and complex reality in simple, and maybe even simplistic, terms.]
If you are interested in Christianity and evolution and have not yet read this book, you may want to do so.
The cross is not merely Christ’s passion, Volf writes, but it is God’s passion. It reveals the total self-giving love of God that reaches out to estranged humanity and embraces every stranger as the beloved.
In the cross we are embraced by the Trinity of love, who loves us with the same love with which the persons of the Trinity love one another. The crucified Christ signifies a space in God’s self for the other and an invitation for the enemy to come in.
In the cross, therefore, we are taken up in the eternal embrace of the triune God of love. This embrace in love by the crucified Christ in which the arms of Christ are the arms of the triune God is, according to Volf, the meaning of Eucharist. “The Eucharist,” he writes, “is the ritual time in which we celebrate this divine ‘making-space-for-us-and-inviting-us-in.'”
However, it is not simply being embraced by God but an empowering of God’s love by which we are to embrace others, including our enemies. That is, “having been embraced by God, we must make space for others in ourselves and invite them in— even our enemies.”
Evolution means that Christ is not yet complete and we are not complete. In Jesus, God’s self-communication to creation explodes into history. Evolution assumes an explicit direction. God evolves the universe and brings it to its completion through the instrumentality of human beings. Jesus is the Christ, the climax of that long development whereby the world becomes aware of itself and comes into the direct presence of God.
The teaching that Jesus is the Christ means Jesus is not any person but the fully integrated person in whom God has revealed Godself in the most complete way. In Jesus, the Christ becomes explicit; hence, the meaning of the cosmos becomes explicit as well. The whole creation is intended to be a unity in love in union with God.
Those who proclaim themselves Christian proclaim belief in the risen Christ and must be on the way toward development of a transcultural consciousness and thus transcultural encounters.
In Jesus we see that the future of the material universe is linked to the fulfillment of the community of human beings in whom the world has come to consciousness.
The evolutionary process is moving toward evolution of consciousness and ultimately toward evolution of spirit, from the birth of mind to the birth of the whole Christ.
What took place in the life of Jesus must take place in our lives as well, if creation is to move toward completion and transformation in God. Healing divisions and forming relationships that promote greater unity are sources of God’s gracious presence emerging from within the history of the cosmos.
Jesus marks a new direction in evolution toward integrated being, healthy relationships, and healing presence, all of which contribute to the act of a new future. As the wellspring of divine love emerging from within, Jesus shows us what it means to be a human person and the way to deepen our humanity toward the fullness of life. His disciples recognized him as the Christ, the anointed One (Mk 8: 27), the One who will bring about a new future, a new creation, and who has already done so in our present age.
The Christ emerges in Jesus, and the humanity of Jesus shows us what the Christ looks like; his humanity is our humanity, and his life is our life. What took place in Jesus’ life must take place in ours as well if the fullness of Christ is to come to be. “Our salvation is necessary for the completion of Christ,” wrote the Cistercian Isaac of Stella. Christ is the future of this evolutionary cosmos, the One who trinitizes creation into a household of unity, the integrated unified center of persons in love.
Delio, Ilia. The Emergent Christ (Kindle Locations 1120-1173). Orbis Books.
Art: Josef Žáček, Resurrection, found here.