Advent celebrates the coming of the Divine. In the midst of widespread tornadoes and other climate change disasters, COVID variants, gun violence, racism, misogyny, sexism, and other injustices, we long for the Divine to come into our world to bring transformation. Singing new songs can contribute to new life, hope, peace, and justice. I invite you to include this new song in your Advent services and meditations.
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 © 1996 Jann Aldredge-Clanton ADESTE FIDELES
In this season we express our longing for the coming of the Divine into our individual lives and into our world. Christ-Sophia is a divine name and image, celebrating the sacred value of all people and all creation. We long for the coming of Christ-Sophia to bring justice, peace, equity, and new life.
“Christ-Sophia” is a biblical symbol of the Divine, making equal connections between genders, races, and faith traditions, thus providing a foundation for communities based on partnership instead of hierarchies. 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. Christian Scripture writers link Christ to Wisdom, a female symbol of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Wisdom (Hokmah in Hebrew) symbolizes creative, redemptive, and healing power. In their efforts to describe this same power in Christ, Christian Scripture writers draw from the picture of Wisdom. 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).
Christ-Sophia images the equal connection between male and female in that the name “Christ” traditionally denotes male divinity, and Sophia is a female name for the Divine. Also, Christ-Sophia links races and faith traditions, connecting the Jewish Jesus to Wisdom (Sophia) in the Christian tradition and to Wisdom in both ancient and hellenized Judaism, and drawing from both Egyptian and Greek sacred symbols.
Bringing this biblical connection of Christ and Sophia to our worship can inspire partnerships that contribute to peace, justice, and equity in our world. For a fuller explanation, see In Search of the Christ-Sophia: An Inclusive Christology for Liberating Christians.
Christ-Sophia inspires continual new birth. Christ-Sophia empowers us to make the Gospel vision of new creation a reality. Sing of peace and justice and new life! Sing a new song celebrating the Advent 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
photo from Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
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”