An early name for Christ, celebrated at the solstice time, was “Sol justitiae,” the “Light of Justice” that arrives anew each year.  It would be good to welcome the Sol justitiae and Light of Justice this year, wouldn’t it?   And every year.  And by whatever name.  Or no name.  

Statue of “Christ the Redeemer,” overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Robert Nyman on Unsplash

Advent may be a time of waiting for a great Coming but it need not be a time of passive waiting.  There is, after all, both active and passive waiting. 

A couple waiting nine months for their baby to arrive is hardly passive about it. They are excited and making plans and preparations, and dreaming hopeful dreams and making things happen.  They are preparing.

The same is true for us who hope for a grand awakening of our species as we face what can honestly be called: Extinction. 

More wild fires.  More and more fierce hurricanes.  More floods.  More destruction.  More migrations.  More melting of Greenland and ice at the north and south poles.  More rising of the seas.  More drought. 

Raging Wildfire by U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr

“The wet places will get wetter and the dry places will get drier” was the mantra I heard two years ago at a week-long gathering of scientists discussing climate change. 

More viruses.  More fear.  More panic.  More scapegoating.  More fictitious lying and denial and cover up from our political and media forces that make money and power, power and money, on selling fear and crazy stories of resolution.

“Man holds up a sign at the Black Lives Matter protest in Washington DC 6/6/2020.” Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

But also more generosity and more creativity, more rejection of old shibboleths whether from religion or politicians.  More literal “stripping of ourselves before God,” to use the rich phrase from theologian Howard Thurman. 

More getting to the truth of who we are as a species—our strengths and our weaknesses, our achievements and our imperfections, our needs and our wants (not at all the same thing).  “There is enough for everyone’s need, not for everyone’s greed.”  (Gandhi)

A Renewed Earth. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

More making “good trouble” (John Lewis).  More rising up against racism–and this means hundreds of years of American history that began centuries before the founding fathers laid out the Constitution.  More rising up against a Wall Street version of economics that so often guarantees more for those who have plenty and crumbs for those on Main Street.

An Advent that awaits a Coming of a Cosmic Christ; awaits an awakening to the intrinsic light, radiance, beauty, divinity in all things.  A return of the Sacred therefore. 

Will there be an Earth renewal without a return of the sense of the Sacred?  Thomas Berry didn’t think so:

An absence of a sense of the sacred is the basic flaw in many of our efforts at ecologically or environmentally adjusting our human presence to the natural world.  It has been said, ‘We will not save what we do not love.’  It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred….Eventually only our sense of the sacred will save us.

Thomas Berry, “Foreward,” in Kathleen Deignan, ed., Thomas Merton Writings on Nature: When the Trees Say Nothing, pp. 18f.

Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance.

Banner image: “Brilliance” Photo by Cynthia Greb

Are you anticipating and preparing for the return of the Sun of Justice by whatever name?  How are you doing that?

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

Upcoming Events

Mirabai Starr and Matthew Fox teach a 7-week course: Julian of Norwich: A Bold Gentle Visionary on Living in a Time of Pandemic. Beginning Wednesday, December 2, 2020 and running through January. On The Shift Network, Wednesdays at 8pm ET and 5pm PT (GMT/UTC-8). Registration is open until December 15: enroll HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Advent 2020, continued”

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    The new normal. What comes to my mind is preservation of the earth, air, sunlight and water, the four elements. In practice, no more cutting down trees, Abolition of factory farms, respect for animals habitats, and as direct action everywhere states: the shutdown of every slaughterhouse and transformation into animal sanctuaries.

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