Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back from the dead

Readings set for this Sunday can be taken as listed below. These are for Sunday 24th June 2007, also called the 4th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 7

1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a and Psalms 42 and 43
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:26-39

Most of us do not easily identify with the idea of being possessed
If we believe in it at all
it is something that happens to someone else
who is not quite right in the head,
who is severely stressed,
perhaps even a religious nut.

If we think, though, of what the idea of being possessed is all about
and lay aside the demonic and supernatural stuff
we can easily appreciate
what 'possession', 'oppression'...perhaps we call these things
is all about.

We lose control to an external force
we hand it over
and instead of being free
we are enslaved
we no longer drive our lives
rather we are driven.
Does this sound familiar?
Yes, it does.
We can all readily identify
places where we are driven rather than we drive.

Easy examples are addictions: alcohol, food, drugs
or anything which begins to become the complete focus of our attention.
Those are the sort of things that affect
We are perhaps less apt to name
the things to which we are addicted
by which we are obsessed

You might take time to ask the question
What drives my life?
Where have I handed over control
  • to my own desires to have everything under control
  • to my need to have more and more possessions
  • to my desperate need to be liked by everyone
  • or anyone of the myriad of other things that possess us
Their name is legion!

What to do?
The reading from Galatians for today (here)
tells us about the change
that has changed
the relationship between God and humanity.
In terms of that discussion
it reveals how we have been transferred
from a relationship with God
bound by formal rules and legislation
which Paul argues is a kind of slavery and imprisonment
even in a religious situation there is not freedom
and we need to be set free.

We are set free by coming into relationship with Jesus
this is relationship
as opposed to contract.
It is not an arrangement whereby we are give a handbook and a set of rules
rather God gives himself to us
and this sets us free.

We should not be surprised then as we see
the possessed, the oppressed and the obsessed
encounter Jesus
as we read about in this morning's Gospel
their lives are transformed
we are set free.

So this man, possessed we are told by a multitude of demons
being drawn into relationship with Jesus
is delivered.
This is for you and for me
the truth too.

We need to note
that this confronting opression is not necessarily an easy thing.
Pigs hurtle off the cliff!
as we rid ourselves of a lifetime of addiction/possesssion
do not expect that the drivers will go without a fight.

This week
  • Ask the Spirit to show you where you have handed over control of your life
  • Talk to Jesus, in order to open and strengthen the relationship. What does he speak into your situation?
  • Pray for the courage to let Jesus free you.
Lord speak my name and set me free. Amen

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