by: J Rourke
There’s a real cool idea in theology called the Cosmic Christ. It’s the belief that Jesus, the human person, was the incarnation of something eternal, the Christ.
Quakers have known about the Cosmic Christ for as long as we’ve been around. That eternal thing that any of us may meet when we are present in the Present. The some-thing, attending to you in each moment, pulling you toward the momentum of Goodness. And we know it as the same dude who said stuff in the Bible and called himself Jesus. Rack up another one for the Quakers, y’all, because everyone else is LATE TO THE GAME.
We’ve called it the Inner Light, the essence of Christ in all peoples. Which we’re into, right? Which we live by looking for Christ in everyone, right? Which we look for in each other, right?
The Eternal Creator of All Things revealed in the waiter who blew me off for the third time. The Spirit Incarnate in the biblical Jesus who I can see in the face of Michael Brown, and also in the face of Darren Wilson. Christ, who on the floor of business meetings, shows up as that church-going individual disagreeing with me “in the Spirit.”
This is not our reputation. Nobody says, “The Quakers have had that goin’ on forever,” because we don’t have that going on now. We are not good at this. I am not good at this. Few of us are trained to look at our “enemy” and say, “Christ is in him.” But that’s our founding principle: Christ is here to teach his people himself. And has been forever. And will be forever. Call it goodness, peace, love, truth, Christ; it is now. And we’re missing it in the vast majority of our moments.
The Cosmic Christ idea is this: Christ has been, made all that was made, is the Word of God, united itself with the person of Jesus, and is still roaming beautifully in every present moment. This idea is the literal essence of Quakerism under a different name, and we’ve lost the right to file for copyright infringement. We’ve been somewhere else – sometime else – instead of here and now. We’ve been afraid.
Our biblical Jesus has a few words on the subject.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27)
What does all this make of salvation? Of evangelism? Of service? These things become an urgency to help others choose well now, in the present. Not for the future. Not so we can be with Jesus someday. But today. And all the time. And yes, really, this very second. The only time there ever is: now.
The Cosmic Christ, the Inner Light, is always revelatory, a surrender to the momentum of goodness in the world. We are allowed a choice, and this is salvation: to choose again and again and again to surrender, to allow ourselves to be taken in by the eternal revelation of the crucifixion, which is to die to ourselves in faith of rebirth into true self, and live in this.