“Be still and know that I am God; I will rise up among the nations, I will rise up from the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
The thing that I have been learning this year is to ‘Be still and know that I am God’. It has been a year of learning to slow down, listen, muse and write. For example, I got thinking about the story of the healing of the demon possessed man in Mark 5, and wondered if it could say anything to us today. So I reset the story in our culture and our time to see how it looked. Here it is:
a preacher and miracle worker came to Melbourne
He had been living overseas
and was not known here.
When he arrived he went to the Melbourne Cup
and was greeted by the spectacle
of thousands of people possessed by demons.
Some were overcome by alcohol,
some by gambling,
others by lust,
and still others by forces
they could neither control nor even articulate.
They were completely out of control
and doing themselves enormous harm,
And no one could control the monster that had been unleashed.
However the demons recognised
that the man had authority over them
And begged him again and again
not to send them away to a foreign land.
So he granted them their wish and sent them into the horses.
The result was chaos as the terrified animals bolted,
Smashing down fences and rushing pell mell into the Maribyrnong
Where they all drowned.
The crowd panicked,
running in all directions
While the news helicopters clattered overhead
to report on the bedlam below.
On taking in the spectacle
The racing club officials were furious
And begged the man to leave the country immediately
and go back to where he came from.
But before he left he instructed all those who had been healed
to go home and tell their families what they had experienced
And so the word spread far and wide
And everyone was talking about it.
And now I am left thinking about what it may mean for me.
It is clear that Christ has power over demons, but are the things I have identified really the demons I need to confront or are there others that I may be more prone to invite in? Are demons mortal or are they forever being released to prey on new victims? (I fear the latter as they are always amongst us).
Does the Holy Spirit protect us in future? (Yes, I seem to remember this to be the case.) etc. etc. etc.
And so I need time to sit on my balcony to reflect on these things. Hence my present desire to be still while I wait some clarity on the issue. Ω
Reflect: What demons do you see? What words of Jesus have power over them? Speak these words aloud as you pray.
What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of intense reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent.
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