Sunday, June 20, 2010
Jesus and his disciples arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me" -- for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. Luke 8:26-30
This time of year is full of transitions. Graduations, people moving and vacations beginning, all indicate a time of great transition. And even when transitions are all for the good, many people find positive change hard to navigate. How many parents are thrilled as their child graduates, only to ache for the small child they once knew - even if that child made their life a living hell? How many of us, making a positive move in our lives, still ache for the old days, when we knew what to expect? How many of us would rather live with the familiar disease than learn to be whole?
A whole community had lived for years with the wailing and screaming of a severely ill young man. He tormented his community and tormented himself. He was possessed by the sickness, and no one had a solution for him. When Jesus came and healed him the whole community was afraid and asked Jesus to go. They were more comfortable with the disease, the demons than they were with the possibility of change -even positive change. They clung to their fear because it was a constancy which defined them, rather than rushing to the love of God which was changing their lives for the better.
Today, on the Fathers' Day, I want tot remember all those who taught me to walk bravely into the world God has made, embracing the healing and change, not hiding in the familiar disease. My Dad was a great teacher, and taught me to move always forward expecting and embracing the healing that is given. May we all acknowledge our human need to hold on, while we trust God, moving forward into the transitions, into the life of healing and renewal which is a gift from God.