Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 1:23-27

And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.'


Astonishment holds no interest for me. I don’t care about it. I don’t wonder in amazement that Jesus did startling things. Nor do I spend a moment trying to understand how he acted with such power or even to believe that he did.

The same is true of rationalizations about what was really happening. Was it demon or some form of mental illness or maybe epilepsy that seized this poor fellow?

None of this captures my interest. The questions bore me and waste the time of any who care to take them on.

What matters to me is what happened to the man. What did Jesus do for him?

This answer is not hard to find … or to want for yourself.

He freed him to live.

He took away the bondage that kept his heart and mind--not to mention his body--from running free as the wind, from sucking up each daily breath with gratitude and joy. He released him from the angry rants that drove all human communion and consolation far away.

He restored him to the ordinary graces of human community where we live and love, struggle and fear, sin and forgive, laugh and cry, suffer and die.

With an angry voice, he drove away the hindrance that kept human souls from throwing their arms around him to receive as a brother, a friend, a soul worth knowing loving.

He ripped away the barrier to loving acceptance and grace, so that he might know the simple sacramental joy of being human and sharing the love that God is.

Jesus did for him the same thing he hungers to do for us.

So speak to our bondage, Jesus. Drive off the demons of our fears and wounds, the burdens of our failures and sins and restore a community of love among us that we might truly live.

For by experience I know … this is what you do and who you are.

Pr. David L. Miller

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