Proclaim what God has Done For You

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 65:1-9

Galatians 3:23-29

Luke 8:26-39

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I have to confess that I hate the ending of our Gospel reading today. After all that happens to this poor man, I want him to get a rest and ride off into the sunset with Jesus. This man has practically been through hell. He is possessed by not one, but an entire legion of demons. His family and friends are utterly afraid that he will hurt others and himself. They don’t know what to do with him and the best they can do to “care” for him is to chain him up like a wild animal and even that doesn’t hold him. He is homeless. He lives in a cemetery by himself. He is naked. He is a man who is absolutely feared by his neighbors, and he is alone and hurting because of it.

 

Jesus encounters this man in his darkest hour and heals him. He casts out the demons who enter into the pigs that jump off a cliff into the water and drown. The man is free from the demons. He has his life back. He is in his right mind, fully clothed, and sitting next to Jesus listening to him speak.

Then, the folks from his hometown catch up with him. They see the man free and clothed and they are afraid again. Why are they afraid? I am not completely sure, but I have a couple of ideas. First, they may be afraid because the healing of this man destroyed the economic livelihood of someone’s herd of pigs. They aren’t too happy about being financially inconvenienced and do not care that it was the consequence of a fellow child of God being saved from a legion of demons. That sounds pretty familiar- valuing financial gain over the livelihood of human beings. Second, the people may be afraid simply because the man is free. They have spent so much time living with the reality that when this man is not chained up, people get hurt. Now he is no longer chained. Maybe they are afraid that this exorcism won’t take and he will be back to his demon-possessed ways.

With his neighbors afraid of him and probably pretty angry with him, it is no wonder that the man begs Jesus to let him travel with him. But Jesus says no. He tells the man to go back home and proclaim all that God has done for him to those people who are afraid and angry after their first taste of what God has done for him.
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Lectionary Mixtape: 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost C

Text: 2 Samuel 11:26-27

When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord

Song: Division

Artist: Starflyer 59

Album: My Island

When names are thrown
To those who know that
You’re not so tough
You’ve never been that

So I took the option of getting out
Where it seemed the grass was greener
No need to make it like all was right
No apologies

When parts are made
From bad ideas
Together with a messed up brain wave

Lectionary Mixtape: 3rd Sunday after Pentecost C

Third Sunday after Pentecost C

Text: Galatians 1:11-17

11For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.14I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being,17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

Song: I’m From Nowhere

Artist: Neko Case

Album: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, the More I Love You

And there you are,
At the edge of the world…
Dangling with my heart a’ pounding.
Above a gulf of hamstrung promises
You sang like “Auld Lang Syne”,
You wanted it so badly that you believed them at the time

With every fashion’s flame,
Every jet plane-lie,
Every second helping of that off-ramp fame we die,
A little…

You’re right, I’m from Nowhere
You’re right, I’m from Nowhere
You’re right, I’m from Nowhere
You’re right.