The other night I was watching the TV show ‘America’s Got Talent’. It’s a spin off based on the wildly successful shows ‘American Idol’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and is a reality show where contestants show off their particular talent and the winner gets a contract for a live show in Las Vegas.
Last night’s show was an elimination round and as contestants prepared to go on stage to perform in front of the judges the host of the show interviewed them to ask them how they were feeling. Of course everybody was nervous, but what got to me was the frequency and intensity of people who said how desperately they wanted to go on to the next round. They repeatedly made began to cry as they said variations of “this means everything to me”, “I want this more than anything else in the world”, or “I will be totally devastated if I don’t make it”.
Obviously I understand that these people have put a lot of work into their performance and it is normal that they would want to win. What stunned me was the utter emptiness of their lives. They really don’t have anything else more worth living for. It was like pealing back a layer from a generation of people and listening to their hearts. They are a starved and bored generation who have been seduced into the cult of celebrity.
As a Christian I have many different points of reference from which I would like comment, but let me do so here in the shadow of my previous post about the ‘Luke 18 weekend’ of 72 hours of prayer and worship for the G8/20 summit.
The focus of that weekend of prayer here in Edmonton was very much around exalting Jesus Christ as the King above all other kings; as the King who is coming back to this earth to reign and rule over all the nations. Our prayers were for the glory of God to be made known to the kings and peoples of the whole earth.
One of the most central transformations that takes place in the life of a person when they become a disciple of Jesus Christ is that their own life no longer is their central focus but the glory and beauty of God become the predominant focus. In 1648 in the Westminster Catechism this point was described in the famous phrase that “man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever”. When we ourselves become the ‘chief end of man’ then we are on the road to boredom and futility.
There is a tremendous need for intercession for this generation to be delivered from the cult of celebrity and to have their eyes opened to the glory and majesty of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, people have nothing beyond themselves to live for. There is nothing that is worthy of their life’s energy and strength. All around us are people who are bored and depressed and discouraged. This is (or ought to be) a powerful motivation toward the activity of intercession.
In my next post I hope to develop more of the practical side of how we can begin to pray about this issue in a more effective way. For now I encourage you to read over some of the ‘kingship Psalms’ (Psalms 93-100) that I mentioned in my previous post and focus on the themes of the worth and glory of God.
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