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“The Devil And Mr. Jesus”

“‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had entered him.'” (Luke 8:30)

The Gospel for Sunday is about a man possessed by many demons.  When asked, the demons who have entered the man say their name is “Legion.”

A legion of soldiers usually equaled 6,000.  So-this means this man in the story wasn’t dealing with multiple “possessions” within his being, but thousands!  It sounds as if it was a situation out of control and unable to be properly managed!  Six thousand is an overwhelming number of problems to have at one time.

It seems that the community had tried certain ways to constrain the man-even to the point of chaining him up with iron fetters, only to be broken by the strength of the “legion” within him.  It also seems that the people of the area decided to just let the man run free, even though running free meant he would be naked and hanging out in the local cemetery.  How fearful that must have been for the whole community!  Besides, Luke says he was homeless which may suggest that he had been disowned by his own family (vs. 27).

This man’s life, as was the life of the whole town, was out of control.

I kinda’ feel like those people of this little town.

Today, there seems to be a number of maladies running rampant through our lives.  And it’s not just a few problems, but more than we can count.  We have a political system that appears out of whack as many people seem completely crazy with worry about the next presidential election; we live in an environment where being a spiritual person, that is, being a believing follower of God, is scrutinized beyond anything I’ve ever seen before!

With the horrid and unacceptable actions of one man and the loss of life (which numbers may continue to grow) in Orlando from last week, and, with all the rhetoric about guns and faith and political aspirations rolled into one, it seems like our lives are out of control.

I find it interesting that in this story of Luke 8, our Lord Jesus finds a way to deal with the ultra-multiple struggles that He is facing.  True, for Jesus, all these problems were rolled up into one, single person – Legion – and true, our modern problems seem to be rolled up in a large number of world-wide situations, but our Lord’s first step was to seek the name of the problem.  Once He had the name, He knew where to put all His energy.

As a part of a greater number of churches, maybe instead of joining social media in flinging the insults and criticisms around, we should band together as one and pray for the one, common problem.

I’m wondering if what I’ve heard others say is that our foundations of life (trust and love of God, neighbor, and self) has been shaken – out of whack, if you will.  We all need to look down deep and seek how each of our families can discover the way back to God’s presence of grace.  We need to have neighbors we can rely on, and, they upon us.  We need to have faith in ourselves again as well.

First – we need to reconnect with God once more.  I believe this can happen by crossing the thresholds of the doors of His places of worship.  It’s not the only thing we can do, but it is the first thing we should do.

On Sunday I want to begin this search for truth and the way back to God.  I invite you to join us at OSLC either at 9:30 a.m. or 10:45 a.m., or, go back to your home church or the faith of your family and begin this search.

If ever our nation needed this strength and clear vision, it is now.  All is NOT lost.  We know this because we know that God loves us even in the midst of uncertainty.  Hold on.

Better days are coming!

And, remember – God loves you and so do we!

Pastor Jim

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