Monday, December 9, 2013

My kingdom Go

The radio stations I normally listen to are playing all Christmas music; one can handle “White Christmas” and “Frosty the snowman” only so many times. I turned 55 last week and decided, less I get stuck in old ways, to broaden my music appreciation (after all, Bob Dylan and James Taylor are older than I am). So, I have been listening to different types of music lately.  

I came across the song called “Demons” by the group “Imagine Dragons” which is currently listed at #6 in the Hot 100 Billboard charts. It’s kind of dark, but speaks to the human condition. 

Some of the lyrics are:
I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come.

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide.

Another verse reads:
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come.

Of course, the phrase “my kingdom come” is a redoing of the phrase in the Lord’s prayer, “your kingdom come.” 

We all have our inner demons and the demons that possess us keep us consumed with our little, ego-dominated kingdoms.   

What demons do you struggle with?
* The need to win or be right?
* The need for prominence and prestige, to be applauded and honored?
* Some consuming interest or activity that drains most of your energy and time away from relationships and service that would, as in Paul’s words, “build up the neighbor” (Rom. 15:2)?
* Is your self-image so tied to how other people think of you and treat you that you are driven by the need to gain their approval?
* Are you attached to material stuff and the comforts money can buy?
* Are you harboring a grudge?
* Are you envious or jealous of anyone?
* Is some false attachment or addiction diminishing your life and relationships?

What demons rule in your kingdom?  

In order for God’s kingdom to come, our kingdoms have to go, and this can be a very difficult and painful process, especially if we are deeply attached and addicted to our demons.

The cure for demon possession is possession—possession by a greater Spirit, Power, and Passion.  

I heard about a young man with a disability who wanted so much to win the hundred meter Special Olympics event he was competing in. He was possessed by a desire to capture the gold medal. As he was running, the runner beside him slipped and fell. Without hesitation he stopped, reached down, and helped his friend up. They ran across the finish line together—in last place.

He wanted to win, but he wanted solidarity with his friend more. His care and love for his friend meant more to him than winning the race. He was possessed by a greater desire. He was possessed by the divine Spirit.  

Perhaps we would find greater liberation from all our “evil spirits,” if we were more often possessed by the Divine Spirit—possessed by the sense of justice, the love of neighbor, the deep compassion, etc. the Divine Spirit generates in our lives.

We can begin by praying that the desire to be in solidarity with others, the desire to know the divine compassion and love embodied in Jesus of Nazareth will set us free from our inner demons that would draw us into our own little kingdoms and turn us into self-serving and self-centered creatures.

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For those interested in exploring a progressive approach to Christian faith are invited to check out: Being a Progressive Christian (is not) for Dummies (nor for know-it-alls): An Evolution of Faith.  It’s a good resource for church study and discipleship groups.

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