the 2nd sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
O Lord God, we bring before you the cries of a sorrowing world. In your mercy set us free from the chains that bind us, and defend us from everything that is evil, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
As [Jesus] stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him…
the DEVOTION. . .
The literalist in us reads the bible as if it was a math equation or a science formula. Something has to be solved. Something that has only one answer. Word-for-word. Letter-by-letter. What matters is the unembroidered, the unembellished. The superficial. And we wonder why it all gets so confusing! What with all the talk about demons. Otherworldly. Supernatural. Full of ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump. Reading the bible, though, is more like reading poetry than it is reading a textbook. More like talking to an old friend. Making its own connections. Creating its own worlds.
This week, the good news is that we don’t have to believe demons are real to understand the gospel. Stubby horns. Glowing eyes. Toothy sneers. Truth is, we all have demons. That haunt us. Taunt us. Not demons in a literal sense, but demons, all the same. Demons that leave us vulnerable, exposed. Demons that chain and shackle and bind. Driven out and throw aside. The good news? It’s to people like these – to people like us – that Jesus came! To people like these – like us – that Jesus still comes!
Bob Barndt, pastor