Christ and the Big Bang Theory

I don’t know about you but sometimes I struggle with the concept of God, especially the idea of God as person.  I get that we relate to God in a personal way but for me too often this translates into an understanding of God as a big grandfather or grandmother ruling the universe from a throne in the sky, and, in my experience, that kind of image just raises more red flags than not.  So, what is a way we can look at God that might be helpful in today’s world. And what does it mean to “fall in love” and “stay in love” with this God.

Recently I’ve been reading a bit about the “Cosmic Christ”.  Taking their lead from the prologue in the 1st chapter of the Gospel of John, and the hymns that begin Paul’s letter to the Colossians and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and the first chapter of the first letter of John, there is a clear-cut idea in the scriptures that Christ or the Word or Logos isn’t limited to the historical Jesus who entered this world just over 2000 years ago,  but is best seen as a life-giving force, the only one, from the very beginning of time! John puts it this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Scholars like Richard Rohr, Teilhard de Chardin, Ilia Delio, and Matthew Fox are now placing Christ’s existence at the very beginning of what Science calls the Big Bang Theory.  Over 14 billion years ago, the fire or light that burst out of this creative explosion is, according to these folks, the Cosmic Christ bursting forth like a river of fire giving life to all it touches and bringing us all together.   

God then, isn’t a noun as much as God is a verb…a moving breathing powerful life-source that is and always will be creating, redeeming, and sustaining life.   Ilia Delio (check out her recent book called “The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love”) puts it this way:

We are accustomed to thinking about love as a human sentiment or emotion, but Teilhard saw love as a passionate force at the heart of the Big Bang universe: the fire that breathes life into matter and unifies elements, center to center. “Love,” he wrote, “is the physical structure of the universe.” [3] It draws together and unites and, in uniting, it differentiates. Love is intrinsically relational, the affinity of being-with-being in a personal, centered way; a unity toward greater wholeness of being that marks all cosmic life. If there was no internal propensity to unite, even at a rudimentary level—indeed, in the molecule itself—Teilhard said, it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, in the human form. Love is the core of evolution.
— -Ilia Delio

To fall in love with God then, is to begin to participate in this transformative river of love. It is to jump in! It is to say “yes” to this power by opening the door to our heart and soul and body and let this powerful force of love move in and through and with us.

Eventually all things merge into one.  And a river runs through it.  The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.  On some of the rocks tiny raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.  I am haunted by waters.
— Norman McClean: “A River Runs Through It”

Bringing me back, miraculously, to one of my central “life-quotes”:

So here are some spiritual exercises you might try to embrace this moving verb of a God:

1)    Every morning before you head out into the world try going out to some open space, open your arms fully to the world and whisper “yes” to God.  Ask God how you can participate in the love he or she is pouring out to the world today.

2)    This Cosmic Christ is always building bridges and tearing down walls.   As your heart what is one action you might do today that will build a bridge for others.

3)    Look inside your own heart and soul, imagine God’s river of love flowing over your heart and soul.  Is there a spot that you hide from this river?  What might be a way you could allow God’s healing stream to reach that spot?

4)    Find a river or stream today and take 5 minutes to just stand or sit by it.  Try to connect with it.  Make a list of all the ways in which this river gives life like God does. 

I hope this helps you, it has helped me this week!

Your pastor and friend, a bit wet at the shoes and thankful for it, Brook

Tim Schaaf