If we had stood at Golgotha on the day of the Crucifixion, our material eyes would have seen Roman soldiers nailing Jesus to the Cross. But our eyes of faithfulness would have seen the young Warrior, ready to do battle, about to use this Weapon of Peace, the Trophy Invincible, as His means to enter into Hades, smash down its doors, and to defeat the devil and death.
Deep within every human person is the desire to be like God—to be immortal, to achieve and experience the fullest possible potential, to see reality as it truly is, to be elevated above the mundanity and struggle of this earthly existence.
Sometimes, God makes decisions that really are for the good of everyone involved that, if we made them, would almost certainly not be. But we’re not God, and we don’t know jack.
Someone who comes to the door of the Church is indeed asked to give everything up in order to become one with Christ. It is not expected of him that he will instantly be able to shed all of his baggage of sin and worldly attachments. But it is expected that he will commit to repentance.
Why put these resurrectional themes into a psalm about judging the gods, about putting the fallen angels in their place and working justice upon them? It is because the whole cosmic narrative of the Scripture is about the war begun by these fallen ones against God.
The targeted demonic attacks we experience especially in this holy season are real, and we can spot them because of how they are so specifically designed to pull us away from participating in it. But these things do indeed come out by prayer and fasting.
You will be in communion with something, even pigs, even demons. There is no neutral space. You have to eat.
Reading Tolkien as well as mythology and folklore can help us to re-enchant the world and thus engage more fully with the unseen world as it truly is.