One of the wonderful things about our faith is how it often inspires awe and wonder. When thinking about Jesus Christ, we often discover even more questions than answers! I personally find this enriching, simply because we can spend an entire lifetime and not even scratch the surface of who God is and how much God loves us.
All of this can sound rather mystical. It quite literally is a mystery. We know Christ to be Jesus of Nazareth, yet Christ has existed eternally before and after this chapter in human history.
Could it be that the power of Christ is all around us in the universe? Is Christ moving where we least expect it? Is Christ trying to reach people, regardless of whatever they believe? If you consider scripture, the answer to these questions is clearly a resounding “yes!”
- Acts 17:28a- “For in him we live and move and have our being.”
- Colossians 3:11- “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
- Ephesians 1:8b-10- “With all wisdom and understanding, God made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
- 2 Timothy 2:3-6- “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and humankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
I interpret verses like these to mean that Jesus Christ is much more than a historical figure 2,000 years ago… Christ is working throughout the entire universe! Jesus Christ invites everyone into fellowship.
Even though this might sound all “New Age-y”, this idea is actually quite prevalent in the kinds of songs we sing in our hymnbooks. We know God to be at work in things like nature and human life:
We can take “cosmic Christ” view even further. Theologian Richard Rohr once remarked in a sermon on “good gifts” from God how Christ is present in so many unique things. We can experience Christ through playing fetch with a pet dog, as well as eating Oreos and watching the sunset! Though this sounds quite mystical, I think it truly opens our eyes to the power of God in our world. From the miracle of our own bodies to the stars in the sky, there is clearly something deeper in creation.
In my sermon, I briefly mentioned the power Christ has in unsuspecting places. Here are some other stories that have enriched me…
In seminary, a professor of mine once told us about missionaries who visited modern day Sudan a couple decades ago. They ministered to the Bora Dinka tribe. Members of this tribe would carry around iron spears as a practice to ward off evil spirits who sought to harm their families and children. This practice had deep spiritual significance and symbolism, as they recognized an unseen cosmic battle was going on all around them. They would even pray together. The missionaries reflected on how Christ seemed to already be at work among these people. They were aware of ideas like spiritual warfare, even more so than the foreign missionaries!
I’m reminded of another missionary story from college, where a guest speaker told us of how he had been stranded in rural India. He was rescued by a man on a motorbike, and upon arriving at the next town, a friendly resident came out to greet him immediately. This man told the missionary he had a dream about a stranger’s arrival on a motorbike, and that the stranger would teach him about the “God of Light.” After the hospitable resident and his family heard the missionary’s message, they knew that the God of Light was real and accepted Christ. This family had never seen a bible or a church, yet Christ was still present among them.
Native American Richard Twiss spent years on the road as a drifter, going from town to town and struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol. One night while sitting on a beach in Hawaii, he began to overdose while on heroin. He was utterly hopeless and desperate for any kind of relief or help. Seemingly out of nowhere, he described how he felt the presence of Christ in such a powerful way. Twiss dedicated his life to Christ that night, and then went on to write several books, establish nonprofits, and do outreach among his people. I find this sermon quote of his quite touching: “Apparently Jesus and the Holy Spirit don’t know where they’re not allowed to show up!”
It is my prayer that this week you would notice all the ways in which Jesus Christ is revealed to us. Too many times we wonder where God is, yet if we only open our eyes and look, we would see that Christ is already there.