The Gospel of Mark has a theme that you will hear A LOT this year…
It is that the Kingdom of God has come, its near, and yet not fulfilled.
This is a theme that we get as early as the first chapter in Mark, which has been busy:
Jesus was baptized.
He went into the wilderness and was tempted (by Satan).
He called his disciples.
He preached in his home synagogue, where he was chased out of town.
AND now, we have the first story of a healing or exorcism in Mark.
As I shared with the children, I struggle with any scripture that refers to unclean spirits (or demons) in part because I do not know how to preach it.
When we say “unclean spirits”, what are we talking about…
the “demons” that haunt us personally and are metaphoric?
mental illness and the stigma that remains around it?
the “unclean spirits” in our society and our culture as a whole?
How do you preach it?
Last night, I told my mother and sister that I struggle preaching these texts about demons. My sister asked “why” and I replied “because I do not know what to do with demons other than to cuddle with them”.
The truth is WE ALL have our own personal demons and at the very least, even if we do not cuddle with them, we become comfortable, content, complicit with our own prejudices, guilt from something we did or did not do in the past that keeps us up at night, or another unclean spirit/demon. WE ALL have our own demons that haunt us. Read the rest of this entry »