In many Christian churches there is a response sung following the blessing over the bread and the cup.
“Christ has Died. Christ is Risen. Christ will Come Again.”
“Seriously, The Christ died? Uh? You are kidding, right?”
Since Easter Sunday, a few (thank you!) have written and asked me to explain this phrase.
Better still, let’s have a conversation. We (collectively) are in a new moment in human history. And no one knows exactly the way forward. So no question is ‘stupid.’ In this moment of exponential growth, let’s explore and question – together.
Here are a few rough thoughts. In this new moment, the sacred words we have used (maybe our entire life) – suddenly have stopped opening us to great truth. In fact, the words are hurting us and keeping us from growing.
I know (I know!) that many find Paul irritating. (I do not but that is another blog.) In Radical Transformation (pg 31), I quote from Paul, and I believe this passage is one of the most revolutionary in all of Christian scripture.
The Christos is the image of the invisible God – the firstborn of ALL creation. For in The Christos ALL things in heaven and on earth are created, things visible and invisible – whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – ALL things are created through The Christos and for The Christos. The Christos is BEFORE all things. And in The Christos ALL things hold together. (Col 1:15-17)
Simply said: The Christos is an ETERNAL reality – fully within time and completely outside of time. Obviously, it is impossible for The Christos to “die”!
So how are we to think or feel into this phrase and its message:
The Christ has died. The Christ is Risen. The Christ will Come Again.
Probably many Christians (including me for a very long time) have said this phrase (half mindful) but thinking of this:
Jesus has Died. Jesus is Risen. Jesus will Come Again.
Certainly if we believe we are waiting for Jesus to return, this phrase holds great meaning. But if we acknowledge The Christos as an eternal reality both within time and beyond it – does this statement continue to be true?
Realizing The Christos as eternal calls into question what we believe about time; what we believe about death; and what we believe about Jesus “coming again”.
Does Christianity’s three part proclamation matter? This …
And if it does matter – does it need to be revised? changed? evolved?
For me, how I state Jesus the Christos impacts the way I choose to live each day.
So – in this moment of exponential spiritual growth, I will ask you. How would you proclaim this “past-present-future” Jesus the Christos?
Please – send firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts. In the next blog – anonymously or with your name if you give permission – I will share some of your proclamations. I will also give you my own with my reflections on it.
- Alexander John
(c) Alexander John Shaia, 2022