The first hymn I wrote was “O Come, Christ-Sophia” to the tune of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” I had written about the biblical and historical connections between Christ and Sophia (Greek word for “Wisdom” in the New Testament), and had been wondering what it would have been like if I’d grown up singing about adoring “Her” (as well as “Him”).
Recently I heard a young girl ask, “What if Mary hadn’t had a boy?” Children notice and learn from our naming of the Divine. What if this young girl and all people had their equal sacred value affirmed through our naming of the Divine? The incarnation of the Divine comes in all genders and races. Christ-Sophia is a divine name and image celebrating the Divine in all people.
Our world longs for the coming of Christ-Sophia, who embodies wisdom, justice, peace, equity, grace, mutual relationship, and new life.
O come, Christ-Sophia, full of grace and wisdom;
come bless us, come challenge us to make life anew.
Come, bring us power, beauty, hope, and harmony.
We long for your coming, labor for your birthing,
for you are our hope of peace, our power for change.
Come, Christ-Sophia, break down walls and free us.
Rejoice all you people, sisters, brothers, join now
to sing of a bright new day just dawning for all.
Sing now a new song; sing with jubilation.
O come now, Christ-Sophia; O come now, Christ-Sophia;
O come now, Christ-Sophia, Wisdom and peace.
Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton
“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections among genders, races, and religious traditions, thus providing a foundation for communities based on partnership. Christ-Sophia brings change to church and society by providing a theological foundation for gender and racial equality.
Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom, is a biblical female divine image that opens new possibilities for justice, liberation, and new life. New Testament writers link Christ to Wisdom, a feminine symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as the “power of God and the Wisdom (Sophia) of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24), and states that Christ “became for us Wisdom (Sophia) from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). The book of Proverbs describes Wisdom as the “way,” the “life,” and the “path” (4:11,22,26). The Gospel of John refers to Christ as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). My book In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians gives a thorough explanation of the connections between Christ and Sophia (Wisdom) in Scripture and in Christian tradition.
Christ-Sophia inspires continual new birth. Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the Gospel vision of the new creation a reality. Sing of peace and justice and new life! Sing and celebrate the coming of Christ-Sophia!
Performed by: Spiral Muse (formerly Devi Vaani)—Dionne Kohler, Kathleen Neville-Fritz, and Alison Newvine with Lana Dalberg on violin—from album Sing of Peace, recorded at Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA
Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton
Katie Ketchum: Sing of Peace album cover
Mary Plaster: “Sophia, Divine Wisdom”
photos from The Gathering: A Womanist Church
Elaine Chan-Scherer: “Our Lady of Charity: La Caridad” & “Divine Child”
David Clanton: photo from Equity for Women in the Church “Calling in the Key of She” event, and photos of children dancing & children singing, from Imagine God! A Children’s Musical Exploring and Expressing Images of God events
Elizabeth Zedaran: “Flow”
Mirta Toledo: “Saint Sophia”