A few days ago someone asked a very good question in the Heresy After Hours group on Facebook:
“For those of us who appreciate Richard Rohr’s thoughts on the Universal Christ (i.e., Christ being all in all, in everything, etc.), here’s a question I’ve been mulling over the past few weeks. If Christ is all (because what else could anything be?) can we also see the Christ in something like COVID-19?”
Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this question ever since.
It’s one thing to try to see Christ in ourselves, or in others, or even in trees, rocks, or animals. But, to look for Christ in a virus – which is alive – and especially in a virus that is perfectly designed to make us sick and even kill some of us, well…that’s quite a conundrum.
For the record, I do accept Rohr’s idea of Christ in everything. I recently spoke to Dr. Steven McVey about how recent discoveries in Quantum Science align perfectly with what Rohr and others have been saying about life, the universe and everything. About how the Universe is connected at the smallest level and how everyone and everything is interdependent and how this perspective dovetails into our understandings of what it means to be “in Christ” or how we “all live and move and have our being in Christ” [yes, even idol-worshipping pagans and other non-Christians, according to the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:16-34
So, I do affirm this rather unorthodox concept that Christ is in everyone and everyone is in Christ.
And because of this, the question asked earlier this week has me reeling and rocked back on my heels. I’m honestly not 100 percent sure exactly how to respond, but here’s the best I’ve got so far:
The Christ in the Coronavirus [COVID-19] is showing us how connected all of us are – and have always been. Now, thanks to this virus, we understand how even the simplest things we do – from washing our hands to covering our mouths when we cough – can impact the weakest and most vulnerable among us.
The Christ in the Coronavirus is also revealing to us how important it is for us to look out for one another. To check on our neighbors. To make sure everyone has enough food, and toilet paper, to get through this.
The Christ in the Coronavirus is showing us just how destructive our idea of “normal life” has been to our environment. As the skies turn blue again and our air starts to clear, we realize just how much damage we’ve been doing to our planet, and ourselves, all this time.
The Christ in the Coronavirus is teaching us that we need to slow down, appreciate the little things, make more time for our families, our children, ourselves.The Christ in the Coronavirus is also teaching us how interconnected everyone is on this entire planet. Regardless of nationality, language, religion or politics, we’re all very aware now of just what exactly it is to be human.
The Christ in the Coronavirus is making it all-too clear just how much we need sunshine, music, art, laughter, friendship, community, and hope.
Hopefully, once this is all over, we’ll have had plenty of time to really take these lessons to heart and grow a little more compassionate, loving, thoughtful and caring of one another.
At least, I really hope we can.
What do you think the Christ in the Coronavirus is showing you? I’d love to hear it.
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Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife have returned to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of their next adventure. They hope to start a new house church very soon.