Love and Blessings!
So we have entered a new solar year. And I pray it was a journey that was abundant and prosperous for all those who read this.
I can say that the year 2018 brought with it some amazing blessings, necessary challenges, and life lessons that will propel me to further depths of spirit in the coming year.
I have made a decision to bring greater focus to the study and practice of contemplative Christianity this year; recognizing that there is an inherent resonance with this path as well as a tremendous opportunity for healing.
I have spent more than a decade dipping my toes in almost every spiritual and religious path that humanity has to offer and in the final analysis Christianity and its rich history is what I feel provides the proper narrative and context for my further spiritual growth and transformation.
One of the other elements that really draws me to Christianity is how much of a puzzle it is. What I mean is that during my time so far studying the Bible and engaging with other Christians (while also pulling on what I have learned from other traditions) there is a lot that people simply don’t know or understand about what this powerful tradition is really about.
In concert with this, I also feel that humanity is on a precipice of great collective change and transformation. (To be honest, I have felt that way for a long time, but still remain, perhaps, romantically optimistic). I can see how the vehicle of contemplative [or Emergent] Christianity can be the means that humanity truly learns about forgiveness, compassion, the Brother/Sisterhood of Humankind, and true spiritual transformation.
So I wanted to bring a new thought to an old celebration of Christianity, known as The Epiphany, a day [January 6th or the first Sunday of January] which traditionally celebrates the time when the three wise men visited Jesus, the Christ child, marking the moment when God was recognized as being made manifest as a human on earth, and in eastern traditions, the baptism of Jesus.
Interestingly the word epiphany, from Greek, means “appearance or manifestation”. In modern language, we use the word epiphany to mean a moment of pristine clarity in the mind. I think both meanings are appropriate for the purposes of this article.
So how can the idea of “Christ made manifest in the world” be seen through an emergent lens? The traditional idea of Jesus Christ is that Jesus is the only Son of God, who came to earth to die for the sins of humanity. Now, this idea is not original to the Christian tradition, being added much later in its history, and therefore has led to misunderstanding the idea of what the Christ is all together.
The Epiphany Re-visited
For me, I see the Epiphany as being a moment in the life of Jesus as well as a moment in each and everyone’s life. For both, it is a moment when, in the mind, being the Christ or the Holy Son of God is accepted, unconditionally. Every imagined obstacle that prevents this recognition is loosed, allowing the light of our True being to shine through.
We can see this Epiphany as a single, profound moment of transformation in our lives, or set it as a milestone on a daily basis, perhaps during morning and evening meditations.
We can continue to celebrate the Epiphany, complete with the historical and cultural significance it has for traditional churches today, but to also include that the Christ is alive in the hearts of us all; and through our study and practice of what Jesus taught, can be ‘made manifest’ in the world, today.
Below I want to share with you some of the resources I will be utilizing as I continue my journey with Christianity; deepinging my understanding of God, Christ, and developing a more meaningful and authentic relationship with Jesus. Love and Blessings!
- Center for Action and Contemplation
- The Bible Project
- Our Bible App
- Illia Delio – The Omega Center
- The Marcus Borg Foundation
- The Infinite Way – Joel Goldsmith
- Contemplative Outreach
- The r/Open_Christian Subreddit
- The Liturgists Podcast