This is Part 2 of 3! Click here for Part 1!
As we look into the next face of God in the Trinity, we return to the principle of Christ covered in the previous set of blog posts. A quick recap: this term Christ refers to the truth that the Creator is present in all Creation – in our beauty, in our suffering, and throughout the story of our life's journey.
Given this, since we are part of the Creator-in-Creation, we are not just children of the Parent, but siblings of the Divine Sibling. Further, because God is teaching us to act as parents for Creation, not only are we Parented by the Divine Parent, we are also parents of the Divine Child. Let's explore these wonderful notions!
In the previous post we discussed our culture's current reckoning and reconciliation with the Parent, especially the Father. Despite the difficulty inherent in this, such a struggle can actually put us in touch with remembering that we are indeed children of the Creator – that indeed you are a child of the Parent. Again this is the revelation of the Christ: it wasn’t just son Jesus who was born of Goddess – it was all of us! It's worth just letting that sink in for a minute... To emphasize: It's not just that all of us are Created. You are. The Mother Created you, and lives in you, and loves you, and you are always good. The Father suffers and dies with and for you, every day. The Parent is always there with you, guiding you with every step. You are a Divine child.
When you struggle with lower-case-p parents, when others fail to acknowledge you as a fellow Divine child, when the society that should treat you like family turns its back on you – it can be hard to believe there could be a love this radical. I know I’ve had a hard time internalizing this, and only rarely does it sink in. “Me? No!” I say. As part of my own reckoning and reconciliation with being Parented, I had to fast for several days in the desert with Animas Valley Institute before I would let myself even begin to hear it: YES! YOU! God says. You are Mine, My child, and you belong to-in-with Me. Such love truly overthrows.
And besides wanting you to simply receive this amazing version of love, the Creator-in-Creation want you to recognize your Parented-ness for other reasons too: The Creator is not just some transcendent force out in the ether of the Cosmos; God is imminent – inside you, in the deepest, most intimate nesting place of your Soul, like a Baby you carry around your whole life. Goddess is like a Kid romping around at your side, inviting you to play and laugh – a Being who is always growing and learning from the Universe, including from you! The story of Jesus' birth and ministry to children illustrate this wonderfully: you have a Divine Child who desires your care and leadership.
The Parent is teaching you about parenting, in part so you can learn to parent this Child, to teach the Divine something new and beautiful. Whether or not the Child needs to learn form us, the Child wants to learn from us. Because that is essential to what it means to love someone, as all children know so well.
All this to say, Divine relationship doesn't end with Parent, children, parents, and Child. Because the Creator-in-Creation is in all Creation, there must necessarily be a lateral Divine dynamic as well. As Jesus demonstrated, just as we Created beings are all siblings to each other, Goddess is Sibling to us and we are siblings to the Sibling.
What does this mean? One way to think about it is that, if you have a sibling, that person is more related to you than anyone else in the world. You share more DNA and formative experiences with them than even your own parents or children. You are kin in the deepest sense. Because of that, hopefully you share an understanding that no matter what, you will always be there for each other, whether in times of joy or strife. This is exactly what animates the Divine: like an eager older sibling, the Sibling awaited your arrival on this Earth, and made an eternal promise – before you were even conceived – to support your flourishing. You can make such a vow to the Sibling in return – to help God thrive.
What's more, going back to the Christ revelation, it's not just you who's a Divine child. All of us are. Including our lower-case-p parents and everyone we deem as "others." We live in a whole society-family of Divine children, where every member is within the Circle of Christ. In this Circle we are all equally adored and valued, are all peers – siblings, sisters, brothers. No matter how far someone seems from their Soul or intimacy with the Divine, they get the same Parental, Childlike, Sibling-ly affection we do. Thus we must try to love them as the Parent, Child, and Sibling do. This is surely what Jesus meant to emphasize in the two-fold Great Commandment: loving God and neighbor.
This can be difficult to internalize in our polarized world. “Them? With their egos and empires – my enemies? No! But Jesus himself minced no words or actions here, and we need his words and actions now more than ever. I know I needed them, for instance, to eventually find forgiveness for my dad. YES! THEM! Goddess says. They too are Mine, My children and parents, and they belong to-in-with Me. They are your and My siblings, just as I am Sibling to you. Such love truly overthrows.
And it's not just us humans who are Divine children. All beings in Creation are. All Creation is Created and good and always loved, is accompanied in suffering and death, is growing toward the Creator. We live in a Nature-family, as sacred as our society-family. This means that not only are we humans the children of the Parent-of-Creation, we are parents of the Child-in-all-Creation and siblings of the Sibling-in-all-Creation. We need to treat Nature as the kin it is – worthy of utmost love and respect, protection and nurturance, and a promise to support its flourishing. Understandably, it's in Nature that we can truly feel the most all-encompassing version of the Creator's message: All are children, parents, siblings, to each other and to Me. And all belong to-in-with Me. Such love truly overthrows.
I hope we can all step into recognizing our place and the place of all in Christ. This is no easy task, and I and all of us have much to learn. I believe aspiring to and practicing this is part of what it means to be a committed Christian and a true follower. And we desperately need more folks doing that in our world.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this post - the Spirit, Spouse, and Friend!
In the meantime, I offer you some reflection questions:
How have you been experiencing Spirit as Child and Sibling?
How have you been experiencing yourself, others, and all Creation as children and siblings?
How have you been engaging in loving service for “others” and Nature?
To learn more
Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (SPCK: 2016)
Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Crown Publishing Group: 2019)
Image credits: #1, #3 - Devin Bard; #2 - Rick Beckel