Jesus & Evil
I'm preaching on Mark 1:21-28 tomorrow. It's the story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue and being interrupted by the unclean demons in a guy. Jesus said to their interruption: "SILENCE, LEAVE". While synagogue attenders and disciples were amazed and astonished at his authority, the demons responded with angry outbursts, but in the end were silenced and fled.
The altar piece is particularly evocative with the high contrast between the sharp-edged stones and the open Word and Authority of the Christ-Candle. Jesus retains authority today in a world of talking heads and slick marketing campaigns. He retains authority against the bluster of Wall Street or politicos in Washington DC. He retains authority over wealthy celebrities or fear-inducing terrorists.
I wrote most of the sermon on an airplane flying home from meetings in Chicago (my seatmates were overjoyed at the space I consumed!). When I got in to my office this morning, I had 25 emails waiting for me. So I worked on the sermon first, then the emails. Now I, like you, get forwarded stuff all the time. Some of it (a lot of it) is trite and worthless. But often they come from friends and I read them because I lvoe my friends. One caught my eye this morning, that came from a member of MCC (who is on the Mission Commission) about another member of the church. It's a story about this member's close friend who lives in Lancaster PA and delivers furniture in the Amash community that was struck with an evil tragedy this past week. He narrarated a story about the young girls calmly kneeling and praying before they were shot that seemed to me a powerful story about the authority that comes with the presence of Christ: "Where 2 or 3 of you are, there I am in the midst of you." Those demons fled too, but at the cost of young lives.
if you would like me to forward that email to you, contact me and I'll forward it along.