The following thought provoking essay is an excerpt from an article by Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, that was first published in Radical Grace, April-May-June, Volume 23, Number 2, 2010.
The Incarnation of God did not happen in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. That is just when we started taking it seriously. The incarnation actually happened 14.5 billion years ago with a moment that we now call “The Big Bang.” That is when God actually decided to materialize and to self expose. Two thousand years ago was the human incarnation of God in Jesus, but before that there was the first and original incarnation through light, water, land, sun, moon, stars, plants, trees, fruit, birds, serpents, cattle, fish, and “every kind of wild beast” according to our own creation story (Genesis 1:3-25). This was the “Cosmic Christ” through which God has “let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made from the beginning in Christ” (Ephesians 1:9).
Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but the title for his life’s purpose. Jesus is the very concrete truth revealing and standing in for the universal truth. As Colossians puts it “he is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation” (1:15), he is the one glorious part that names and reveals the even more glorious whole. “The fullness is founded in him . . . everything in heaven and everything on earth” (Colossians 1:19-20). Christ, for John Duns Scotus was the very first idea in the mind of God, and God has never stopped thinking, dreaming, and creating the Christ. “The immense diversity and pluriformity of this creation more perfectly represents God than any one creature alone or by itself,” adds Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (47:1).
To read the full essay by Fr. Rohr, see http://earthministry.org/earth-ministry-publications/earth-letter/, where it will shortly be posted in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of the Earth Letter.