Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friends and Enemies

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Luke 11:14-23

This morning I woke up to a violent thunder and lightening storm. When one lives by the ocean, on a tiny slip of land between the bay and the ocean, storms are amazing and frightening things. Our dog is under the bed and panting heavily as I write. We are living in an old house that has survived many a storm among a family who has survived many a storm too. When safety and storm approach there is no place I would rather be. We often forget who are friends are in good times but in the storms of life, we remember who has sheltered us, who has kept us safe, and where we run when life is overwhelming. A line from Ghostbusters runs through my head, "Who do you call?" We know the ones we trust by who we call when the demons and ghosts descend upon us.

Jesus was doing miracles but some wanted to see them as evil work. Loving, healing, sheltering and freeing others is never evil, and yet human jealousy and need for power can turn on even the most loving. Jesus challenged the detractors to consider where they run for help and who they trust in the darkest days. We each are invited, when we judge others as evil, to consider the source, to consider where we would run.

Today I want to give thanks for a multitude of safe harbors - family, friends, the love of God and many communities of faith who are ready and willing to shelter and heal all those caught in life's storms. May we who are able, by the grace of God, be those who offer shelter and protection, healing and renewal to those who are facing challenges this day.

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