They say the day of the Christian is ended and the day of the Pagan has returned. It has outlasted the era of Christianity and now is the time of its resurgence. Some say it is humanity’s most natural state and its most profound and that it was inevitable that it should one day regain its proper ascendancy in human thought and spirit. Christianity has had its hour and now it will wither and die. But Paganism, rooted in water and earth, will last as long as the earth and stars and, even if it must go into hiding for a time once again, can never be extinguished.
But it is Christianity that was before Paganism. It was in the stars before there ever was an earth and it was in the earth before there ever was man or woman or beast. The face of the one God has always been seen in what has been made. That God was before the Paganism of roots and grasses and gods and it will outlast that Paganism. He was first. He will be last. Paganism will have its brief flareups like a dying fire. And then it will be ash. And that ash will mark a cross on the foreheads of woman and man as we honor the return of Christ.
Christ is the man who is both earth and spirit, the stuff of stars and the stuff of infinity, the heart of what is human and the heart of what is God. There is no killing him. For he rises from the dead. At the beginning Christianity was a few among many, persecuted, scorned and put to death. Yet the coals always burned. And eventually grew into a blaze. There were always those who were false fire, who acted in Christ’s name but who were never his. But there were also those who lived and breathed Christ in every generation. Even now, as Paganism rears its horned head in apparent triumph, they are upon the earth, they are fire in the root system of the earth, they flicker underground, and at the right time, the flames of the Christian faith will soar to the heavens once again and purify the earth.
Before there ever was a Paganism there was a Christianity in the constellations and in the stones of the mountain streams. Not simply a monotheism, a Christ in clay and granite and neurons and the speed of light. He made them all and all their essence is in him. It is Christianity that cannot be vanquished. It is the building blocks of all spirit and all earth. All is linked to its truth. Once begun it does not end. It is forever.
Paganism will have a few days, a few hours, as God counts days and hours. Then it will submit again to the Lord of heaven and earth. It will cower and kneel. And although it shouts lustily to the four winds and the seven seas today, tomorrow it will be sprawled in the dust and none will be able to raise it again. It will wink out in a great swelling of light. I am not afraid. Paganism does not return to conquer or to rule or to write the last chapter of the human race. It has one brief moment before the bright fires of faith consume it, a bright fire of sun rising to mark the better day, day unending, the vast lighting of all nights, all dark that ever was, all falsehood, lit and inextinguishable.
Many will say, “Paganism has finally chased Christ off the face of the earth. We will not see him again.” Christ is not gone, nor are his people. They are everywhere, in every nook and cranny, in cave and high tower, in secret and well-known, hidden and in plain view. They can never die since they are Christ’s and Christ is limitless. He will claim his earth and his own will claim it with him. Let Paganism watch its back. Let it burn its secret fires and whisper its arcane knowledge but let it do so with one eye cocked to the heavens. Let it tremble. For I will not tremble nor will the people of Christ. The light has come to the darkness but the darkness has never been able to put it out. The Christ season has not wound down. There is another just coming more powerful than the last. His glory will engulf the earth in the holy Spirit of God.
The Christians are not gone and their greatness has not vanished. For Christ is immortal and his people are immortals with him. Christianity has always been and always shall be.