Skip to main content

Emergence from the Void

 


The next phase of the Cosmogonic Cycle is called "Emergence from the Void".  This is the phase of the Hero's Journey that represents the cycle of rebirth that happens in our lives.  For the hero, there is an emergence from the depths to a new way of being, but for each of us, we relive this birth over and over as we are made new and mature through life.  

I was watching the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2 last night.  If you want to watch the show and you have not gotten that far, stop reading now, "there be spoilers ahead"!  Generally, I assume that you have had enough time to catch up though.  At the very end, Luke shows up to take and train the child Grogu.  In the timeline of the movies this is after the Original Trilogy, but before the newest trilogy with Rey.  At this point, Luke has completed his journey, defeated the emperor, and he has emerged as something entirely new.  The winey teenager from the first movie is gone, for that matter, even the confident but reckless Jedi Knight is gone.  In his place is a battle-hardened but calm and centered Jedi Master.  He has not only left behind his youth, but he left behind the recklessness of the hero.  He is centered and calm because he has the wisdom of age and experience.  Luke cuts through an entire platoon of the dark soldiers.  A single dark soldier droid had nearly proved deadly to the Mandalorian, the hero of this series.  Luke didn't even break a sweat as cut through one after another.  He did not seem to struggle at all.  This is Luke portrayed as his best self in all of the Star Wars material.  This is Luke after emerging from the Void.

Jesus' emergence from the void was the resurrection.  We are told that he was almost unrecognizable, as even his closest friends had trouble recognizing him.   There was something in his voice and the way that he spoke that gave him away though.  After traveling with and teaching some of the disciples he broke bread with them and they realized who he was.  As soon as they realized it, he disappeared.  Listen to what they said as they reflected on that encounter:

"When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”  And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,  saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”  Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. - Luke 24: 30-35

That's the thing about emerging from the void.  You come out forever changed.  Your friends and family may have trouble reconciling the new you, with their memories of who you used to be. But, when you speak your hard-earned truths, the hearts of your listeners will burn to experience something so real and raw.  This sort of emergence is what is represented in our baptism, as we go under, deep into the void, and return as a new creation.  In truth though, it rarely happens at our baptism, and far more often happens as we go through the life changes found during the second half of life.  Richard Rohr wrote a book exploring these changes.  If you find yourself going through such a transition, I would strongly recommend "Falling Upward" by Richard Rohr.  

God, help us to emerge from the void with the full wisdom we have gained in that place.  Help us to not set aside our hard-earned truths for the sake of fitting back in.  Help us to find community that accepts us as fully integrated beings.  Amen.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Looking Back?

"Remember Lot’s wife!  "   -  Luke 17:32 This is one of the shortest verses in the Bible.  Jesus was talking about the terrible circumstances that will be present when he comes back.  He was warning people that they would not see it coming.  People will be going about their business and then suddenly, without warning, chaos will take over.  People will need to flee, and he warns them not to go back for their possessions, for anything.  This is where he says "Remember Lot's wife!".  In desperation he pleads with them to remember the fate of this woman.  To his listeners it would bring to mind the story of Lot and his family fleeing the destruction of Sodom.  They too were warned not to go back for anything, not to even look back, but Lot's wife did look back.  And when she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.   Metaphorically speaking this is often what happens when we look back.  We get frozen in place and we cease moving forward.  I have a childhood frie