Psalm 93 • Jeremiah 6:9-15 • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 • Mark 5:1-20
Today’s Gospel reading from Mark discusses a man possessed by many demons. He is horrifying—living among graves, snapping shackles and chains, mutilating himself and howling day and night. What are we to make of all this? Most of us don’t experience the demonic in the way that so many first-century Jews did. But is it so hard to believe that something evil is out in the world working to destroy all that God loves? Racism, sexism, and violence permeate our world, and we have it pretty good if we think about evil on a global scale. Humans all over the world are behaving in ways that are far more horrifying than what we about read in Mark 5.
But it is not just other people who are acting as tools of evil. What sort of spirit possesses you? In what small, barely perceptible ways are you acting out the sexism, racism, violence, and greed that try to strangle God’s creation? Today’s reading from Jeremiah shows us what it’s like to be filled with the spirit of God rather than a spirit of evil. Jeremiah is surrounded by people who do not see how wounded their world is— they deny it and thus become part of the violence. But Jeremiah is full of God’s fury for justice and God’s burning love. He cannot keep silent—he must act. It will cause him pain and disgrace, but he must act. Let us take this Lenten season to examine ourselves, resist the power of the Evil One in us, and become so filled with the presence of Christ that we can no longer stay silent.
— Daniel Wise