The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 25
They came to the other side of the lake, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’ For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us into the swine; let us enter them.’ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned in the lake.What leads you to tell how much God has done for you? What causes you to work to spread the word and help build the kingdom? What causes you to be the good soil?
The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighbourhood. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. Mark 5:1-20
Jesus has crossed to the gentile side of the lake. When he arrives there, a man ran to him and worshiped him. This man was deeply tormented and troubled. The people of his community were afraid of him, so afraid of him they put him in chains that he broke, they locked him in tombs, and tried to keep him away from them. He cried day and night, bruising himself. He cries to Jesus, don't torment me. Jesus calls out the demon, but the demon begs to be saved by being sent into the nearby pigs. Jesus sends the evil legion into the pigs. Jesus who brings the kingdom near, interacts with this outsider among outsiders. Jesus binds the strong man in the land of the gentiles. The coming kingdom is opening up to include those like us and those near but not like us. Jesus saw the faith hidden within this troubled man and drew out the evil. When the townspeople find out, they are still afraid of the man. But this man who came to Jesus in need is healed. He asks to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and the mercy God has shown you. This man went out into gentile territory spreading the news, telling his story, for the word needs to spread.
When you think about your own life story and faith journey, where did you see God working? Have you shared their story of faith, that testimony to God's mercy and love? For some people have amazing stories like the man with a legion of demons, when you hear their story you think your experience of God's mercy doesn't compare, but for God learning to tell our stories, learning to spread the word of God's kingdom is part of how we share our faith. So what has the Lord done for you? ...
.... It was early in the morning, I hadn't slept all night. I tossed and turned worrying about the day ahead. As I got up to get my son to his preschool early so I could be at the court house that was 2 hours away in good traffic. It was the day to meet with the court appointed mediators to make sure the divorce agreement was fair. I was nervous, would they let me leave Connecticut and go to school in Illinois. My son's father had a lawyer, but I didn't. So I didn't know what to expect and was worried. We got to the preschool and I thanked them for letting him come early. Then hoped in my car got on the highway. I was cranking it up high and ready to make some time. I came up a hill and over the top ran into a traffic jam. I wasn't supposed to be hitting a traffic jam yet. I wasn't close enough to Hartford or anywhere near Greenwich. So here 2 minuted out and I was stopped. As we inched up the hill I am praying to God for the traffic to move, for my nerves to be ok, for my son to be protected. I mostly prayed for the traffic to move. I also was sharing some not to nice language about the idiots who couldn't drive and caused and accident. As I crested the next hill, I learned the cause. There across the highway was this incredible rainbow. The traffic wasn't stalled for an accident, it was stalled to enjoy the beauty and comfort of the rainbow. I said ok God, I get it your covenant promise was there with me. But that didn't stop the worries. So then I turned south to head to New Haven and there was another rainbow across the highway and as I crested another hill there was a third rainbow. God's promise was before me. I calmed down. I couldn't control what would happen but I new that God was with me, would always be with me...
As you quiet your inner voices ask the Spirit to share with you where God has been at work in your life. Ask the Spirit to share with you what the Lord has done for you and when the Lord has shown you mercy. As you experience this journey of the Spirit through your life, ask God to show you or lead you to the people who need to hear about what the Lord has done and the mercy God has shown you. Amen.
Beautiful Rainbows Storms In Africa (Remastered 2009)" by Enya