Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.

         As they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes.          a man of the city who had demons met him.                   —from Luke 8.26-39

Jesus meets a man under the power of something foreign to his own soul, but not just a man: a people, a world. But he sees the person beneath the demon.

The man lives among the dead, cherishes, perhaps, the aura of death. His demons lead to violence; all violence is demonic. They are “Legion.” There is more than one: it is an army (a Roman legion), a culture. Neither blaming nor curing one man will bring peace.

The demons cry out against Jesus. There is always resistance to healing, rage at the offer of mercy.

Jesus casts the demons into a herd of swine. Who would eat the meat of so many unclean beasts but a legion of the Roman army? Jesus casts the Roman Empire into the abyss.

The locals are afraid. They take up the demons’ cry and cast Jesus out. There is always resistance to healing, rage at the sight of love. The man, now restored, wants to follow Jesus but he sends him back to his city, his world, living proof of God’s transforming grace.

So many systems are at work, legions of demons, cultures, communities, armies of fear. The drama is local but the struggle is cosmic. Jesus, too, works with a power beyond his own soul, a power that heals people and cultures, love that sees persons beneath labels and sets them free, that sends fear into the sea, that re-orders the cosmos.

We face legions and their weapons; the enemy is never one man and his demons. But when Christ heals even one person the world tips and plunges evil into the sea. Love destroys what the Empire of Fear feeds on. We are at the edge of the abyss, the dark waters of Creation, where God calls forth light. And those who have been set free go through the city as the light of what God has done.

Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

__________________ Steve Garnaas-Holmes Unfolding Light www.unfoldinglight.net

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