Tag Archives: Principalities and Powers

Being the Body of Christ

Advent
December 9, 2017

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   “Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight” ’, –Mark 1:1-3

Surely we are wandering in a wilderness today. Caught in a bramble bush full of the thorns of the world, we cannot seem to find the truth. My theology professor, quoting Ephesians 6:12*, referred to such a state of being as dealing with the principalities and powers of the world that only God can defeat. Greed and lust for power are among the tools of these principalities and powers as is divisiveness. The church, the designated Body of Christ in the world today, must with God’s guidance and power do all it can to defeat such threats while spreading the love of God among all of God’s children, a challenge of Holy proportions.

Surely we can find something on which we all agree and begin there to develop a cohesive approach toward creating a world where love rules. I always fall back on the list of things Jesus described in Matthew 25 that include dealing with hunger-poverty in general, health issues, strangers, and people in prison or better yet keeping people out of prison. Jesus seemed to concentrate his efforts on those realities; perhaps we should too.

If we can take the higher ground and stop competing with each other for the “we know God better than you do award,” we can fulfill our calling. We might even learn to enjoy working together,  wouldn’t that make God’s day!

Prayer: Holy One, break down the barriers we build and others erect in our way so that we can be the productive representation of you in our world today. Amen.

*Ephesians 6:12
KJV: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

NRSV: For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

 

Finding God in the Dark

Living in the Spirit
November 16, 2017

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Now considering the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say ”There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. –1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

I do not feel like I am light. I sense darkness all around that I am unable to lessen. I have an emergency light that requires no batteries. A windup crank creates just enough energy to power the light for a very short time. I grow weary of cranking and re-cranking when required to rely on it, but the light always shines forth from my efforts if just for a little time. When depending on such a tool one grows more assured that darkness is not as powerful as we make it. In fact, knowing that that little light will always be there when needed, I can even take comfort in seeking God in the darkest of darkness. Why else do I close my eyes to pray? Closing my eyes shuts out the world and allows me to be alone with God. Do the principalities and powers that use darkness or opaqueness as a tool of fear not know they are enabling my relationship with God?

As a fan of The Screwtape Letter, I must assume that cosmic battles pitting darkness against light are a constant reality that ebb and flow. We, followers of Christ, struggle to maintain consistency in being the Body of Christ opening gaps in love allowing darkness to penetrate. Our one constant which we must hold to again and again is that Christ is the light of the world over which no darkness can prevail. We must keep turning the crank of service to God in love.

Prayer: Lord set our feet on the higher ground that defines our perspectives and lights the way to our service in support of your Kingdom coming. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.