What Possesses You?

Services of Worship Forums Minister’s Message What Possesses You?

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    "I don't know what came over me," or, "I don't know what possessed me to do this" is to behave contrary to what God intended for me to do and be. We have all had moments when we feel we have let go of our senses.
    Authority is another one of those unpopular words today, primarily because authority has been misused, abused, misunderstood, corrupted and people get hurt even destroyed. So, when the man in the Synagogue calls out to Jesus, "What do you want with me, have you come to destroy me," he is expressing this very experience of destructive authority. It is all he has come to know, an authority that destroys. But a new authority now faces him, a holy authority, a healing authority, an authority that does not come to "steal or destroy" (see John 10.7-10). Jesus has come to bring life!

    I wonder then, what had this man's previous experience of Synagogue authority been? It certainly caused a disruption among the teachers of the law and an amazement among the people of the Synagogue. Please note also that the term synagogue not only means gathering place for teaching, but with Jesus it takes on a deeper meaning in that it must also be the space to meet the holiness/goodness of Jesus who will not leave the person "possessed." Our worship then is where our "madness" can come face to face with the holiness of Jesus and at the same times it also means coming to terms with our own madness. Like this man we might well shriek in both fear and resistance. It is not easy having been caged for so long that this possibility of release and freedom is not as welcome as we hope.

    Our witness is when the justice and the character of Jesus is brought to bear on the unjust and destructive systems and practices of greedy corporations, violent structures in our society which provide protections to abuse and inequities among all citizens, cultures and generations. So, when the man in an evil spirit cries out, "What have you to do with us," echoes our won and society's question, "What have you to do with me?" Jesus has everything to do with us and the world for he is the light in the dark and
    closed in places, he is peace to those troubled and afraid, but he with rattle the cages and unsettle the captors until all are free in his name.

    Grace and peace, James.

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