Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. It is a day set aside to remember and celebrate that day when Jesus became a shining light before the three apostles who accompanied Him up the mountain. As is our practice each day, we gathered for Morning Prayer but read from the Feast Day lectionary rather than the daily lectionary. Most Christians in this area do not celebrate Feast Days of our Lord (or saints days), except Christmas and Easter, but I treasure such daily reminders of the history of Jesus and His church.
Because of the change, instead of the next section of Judges and John, we read from 2 Corinthians 4. The short reading contained this sentence: "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God."
Jesus also refers to the demonic "the Prince of this World" and I have written before about this baffling concept. The idea of "Rulers" influencing the world is not, when one reflects on the world, a crazy idea. There are spiritual dimensions to reality which are not easily seen nor understood. How exactly does Satan rule the world?
The threefold flesh-world-devil are the unholy trinity. These are the three 'forces' which are standing over and against the Kingdom of the Holy Trinity. My understanding is God is involved in the world, He created and sustains it, but His activities among us are an intervention. I believe God saves (redeems) us. I do not think He controls and causes everything. Now, this is human language and anything we say about God is an analogy or simile. We can only glimpse bits and pieces. We do not and cannot understand.
So the language of the New Testament alludes to one reason why Jesus came. The world has freedom and choices are made. There are spiritual forces at work, among other things, which would claim our first allegiance. God is God. Treating anything/one else as if it were God is blasphemy, idolatry and sin. We are blinded to the truth. We do not see the world as it is (a creation) nor do we see God. Even those who claim to love and serve Him are blind in some areas and not seeing clearly in others. It is the current fallen condition. We await the time when Jesus sets all things right. We long for it. But it has not taken place yet.
So today we hear about Russia's plan, Ebola deaths, Israel-Palestinian conflicts, and we see the hand of 'the god of this world' at work among us. Inspiring us to lower depths, greater degradation, more violence and selfishness and outright stupidity. Things are not right because God Almighty, in some very real sense, is not ruling this world. Yet.
So hope is a virtue and we are compelled to live a life today which reflects the life to come. Prayer, worship, study, Scripture and lives lived obediently to Him are the current medicine to a sick and suffering world, and a prophetic declaration that some day the god of this world will be unveiled and unseated, and the God of Heaven will come among us to rule. And all will be well. And all will be well. And that is a reason for joy!