Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Evil & Unclean Spirits

Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit,
 from Très Riches HeuresMark 1:21-28

Lord Christ,

The Gospel lesson Sunday was about your encounter with an “unclean spirit.” And during the service of Holy Baptism, the baby’s parents were asked:

Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
 of wickedness that rebel against God? Do you renounce the evil powers of this world
 which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God? Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

I readily admit this is not my favorite subject. I’m the proverbial cockeyed optimist.

…but I’m not in total denial. I get it. As C.S. Lewis observed, we are in enemy occupied territory.

Horrific crimes dominate the headlines. Ethical lapses bring down leaders and whole economies. Starvation, genocide, and creation care are met with indifference. Pride, envy and lust ravage society and individual lives.

Yes, the enemy is very much among us, and the enemy often occupies me.

…but there’s BIG hope in Mark’s account.

Throughout your ministry, the demons and unclean spirits recognized and obeyed you.

What is this? A new teaching - and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him. 
(Mark 1:27)

You are in command. I’m on the winning side. As your rescue mission unfolds, Thanks be to God! Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, Service of Holy Baptism
South Pacific, Cockeyed Optimist