Hamilton and Spiritual Hunger

Have you ever felt spiritual hunger? It’s that desire for something more from God, for your own sake or for the sake of others. Spiritual Hunger is a gift from God because it reminds you of the gap between the Kingdom of God and the world of Man. (Click to tweet) When we grow content and complacent in this life on earth, spiritual hunger is the method by which God wakes us up. Spiritual hunger reminds us that we are but immigrants in a land so very different from our home. (Click to tweet)

I have noticed in my own journey that I have to be intentional to find tools that stoke the fire of my own spiritual hunger. Core spiritual disciplines such as prayer and regular bible reading are crucial when it comes to keeping my hunger “current.” In addition to these key components of faith, I find it helpful to look at the world around me for inspiration, which can propel me forward as I chase after God.

In the last year I have found one musical work, which has served as a core tool of spiritual inspiration. It has been the music and lyrical work of Lin-Manuel Miranda in his Broadway smash hit, Hamilton.

There are a lot of reasons why this show has experienced such fanfare and momentum over the last year. It tells a story of history with modern day flare. It highlights the height of one man’s accomplishments while also portraying the depth of his own dysfunction. It has caused both young and old to return to Broadway by bringing a revitalized picture of what musical theater can be.

What might be greater than all of these things is the spiritual undertone found in this work of art. I have leveraged the music of Hamilton in the last year as my personal tool to stoke the fire of Spiritual Hunger.

You see Hamilton is a story of hunger. It is a story of grit and fight without a willingness to give in or quit. There are 4 key themes in this musical that speak poignantly to our spiritual journey:

  • We are (spiritual) immigrants – this world is not my home. I live and work here, but I am a citizen of another Kingdom. The Old Testament reminds us multiple times to remember the immigrants among us, because in remembering the immigrants among us in this temporary home we are reminded of our immigrant status in the world of Man.
  • We must fight (spiritual) oppression – This world is not in neutral. Much like the tangible oppression experienced by Hamilton and his contemporaries, our world is in the middle of spiritual oppression. Ephesians 6 reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against evil.
  • History Has Its Eyes on You – Possibly my favorite song from the Hamilton soundtrack is a lament from George Washington. While the lyrics might not word for word match our life today, the heart reflection is one we can relate to. Here are those lyrics: (click here if you would like to hear the song)

I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
And felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me
History has its eyes on me 

Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
I know that we can win
I know that greatness lies in you
But remember from here on in
History has its eyes on you
History has its eyes on you

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