Intro to Watsonopolis

There was one who once said crazy things like, give your possessions to the poor, let your light shine, go to the ends of the earth, love God, love your neighbor, serve, pray, die and live. Those words, the words of Jesus, have gripped and shaped our lives.

Because of Jesus’ life, challenge and love we are propelled into an amazing life journey; a journey that most often finds us pitching our tent among the poor and those on the margins of our world, serving, living, teaching, learning and loving there.

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Tuesday
Nov232010

Casting Out Demons

Last month, I traveled with three friends to India.  We stayed in and around Delhi for 10 days.  This is the first, of what I hope to be a couple of reflections on that trip.

“The young man is demon possessed”.  That’s what the pastor said to me when I asked him what was going on.  Three hours prior, I entered the room where we were to worship and immediately noticed the young twenty-something.  Over the course of the service the congregation would swell to nearly 200, but when we first arrived, the crowd was small so he stuck out.  He had what I thought was either a nervous tick or odd way of worshiping.  Turns out I was wrong on both accounts.

Towards the conclusion of the amazing north Indian worship service a feverish concert of prayer ensued; which is when the exorcism publicly began.  First, the women surrounded the demoniac who started screaming, moaning and contorting violently on the ground.  Following the women, other ministers and evangelists of the church began praying over him pressing the Lord for his deliverance.  Waves of groans and growls echoed in the cinderblock apartment that served as the church until they finally subsided to a low hum.  “They will pray and fast and then begin again.  He’ll be healed soon”, the pastor said rather matter of factly.  Then, with out missing a beat he says, “Are you ready for lunch?”

I stepped over the young-man-in-healing as my shoes were located on the other side of his sprawled, mildly grunting body.  I slipped the shoes on, keeping a steady eye on him lest he jump up, beat me and send me out of the church naked.

Over lunch that day, and over the last two weeks, I’ve been thinking about demon possession; about the ways the Evil One slips into our lives and stakes a claim.  I’ve also been thinking about the ways that freedom and healing come.  It would be easy to focus only on the dramatic, on the otherwise extraordinary events surrounding the young Indian’s liberation from demonic forces.  But what might such an event look like at Living Hope, in my life or in my neighborhood?

If I were completely consumed by materialism and my money was the focus of my life, could one not say, I’m demon possessed?  And If someone in my small group said to me, “Sell your possessions, give it to the poor and follow me” would I not moan?  Would my back not stiffen as did the young Indians?  And if a gospel-er said to me, “Your job has become your idol, repent and follow Jesus” would I not growl and fight?  If I went to one of the addicts in my neighborhood and prayed for the demon drug to exit their body, might they not fall face first into my yard?

They might would.  Because it is not true that Indians living in the rural outskirts of Delhi are somehow more demon possession prone than those in well manicured Memphis suburbs.  Rather our possession may be more subtle, more discreet, more ‘culturally appropriate’ yet still as demonic.

The truest beauty in this is that the way towards freedom is the same for us as it was for the young man.  It is the gospel of Christ that was going to free him from the demons that tormented his soul and it is the gospel that will liberate us.  The bondages of sin can have 1,000 different faces.  Freedom, on the other hand, has just One.  And that is good news.

Reader Comments (4)

Good word bro.

December 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterannelies

Interesting insight.. It is so easy to be captivated by the concerns and material things of this life... As life goes on the more i realize joy is limited here on earth an our true hope an happiness comes from serving the lord.. In serving others the focus is taken off us, what we think to be catastrophic problems in our life begin to shrink every moment we serve..

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarc Marmoleoj

Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure. dlxvzu dlxvzu - Moncler Daunenjacke.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbjcsmx bjcsmx

Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. htguri htguri - Belstaff Jacken Damen.

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdfvfsp dfvfsp

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