The Scripture ~ “God made known to us the mystery of God’s will according to God’s good pleasure, which God purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
Ephesians 1: 9-10
The Breath Prayer inhale~ I embrace… exhale~ The mystery
The Spiritual Focus ~ “God is this overarching presence that allows us to feel and experience things that are beyond this realm.” Author Unknown
The Devotion ~ The mystery of God’s presence is an ever unfolding mystery that reveals God’s great love for all creation. It is a mystery that cannot be fully realized by what we know cognitively but can must (?) be explored through our experience of God’s presence. There are many modes by which we can explore the mystery of God’s presence. The biblical narrative that leads to the Christmas mystery, the birth of Jesus, is the one we lean into during Advent. For many of us, the incarnation we prepare for during Advent—God becoming human in the person of Jesus— is the primary incarnation we relate to. We are, after all, human beings of body, mind and spirit and we experience life as whole beings.
God entering into our world in human form informs our Christian theology which holds the body in the highest regard. Some worldviews posit that we are only spirit or only body. One worldview suggests that body and spirit have been separated and it is a challenge to reunite them. However, an incarnational worldview says that spirit and matter, that is, physical substance, were never separated. The Christian worldview teaches that God’s spirit and the world were never separate. As Fr. Richard Rohr notes, this means God’s first incarnation was creation, when God entered in and brought form to a formless mass. Christ was present in that experience long before God’s incarnation in Jesus. This revelation of God’s presence is important because it opens us up to understand the mystery of God’s presence as a continuous unfolding from the beginning of time that goes beyond the realm of knowing and informs us of our unity with God in the Christ mystery.
It is in the foundational philosophy, the eight limbs, of yoga that the physical shapes we make with our bodies and breath are intended to settle us and help us let go of ego, so that we may experience unity with the divine. It is one of the greatest gifts of yoga to Christians. This gift allows us to practice experiencing the mystery of God’s presence in all creation, every day, as well as in one event celebrated at the birth of Jesus.