Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.’ He knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:22-32
We had the chance this weekend to visit a few ghost towns in Montana. Places that boomed with mining and gold fever which now are small or non-existent. Virginia City had some wonderful displays, even though it was before the season, which showed life in the boom times. How quickly people can disappear when the money or the excitement runs out. Nevada City, which we were not able to tour, is a collection of old buildings, reminding us how quickly things fall apart when a community becomes divided and when there is no life left or a reason to go on.
Jesus did some wondrous miracles, healing a man who was unable to communicate or see his surroundings. The religious authority accused him of working evil, rather than good and Jesus responded that evil does not build up good. Things fall apart when evil tries to do good, as a house divided cannot stand. When the life goes out, there is not new life but deterioration.
God invites us today to serve and build up the good, the loving and the life changing. God encourages us, even in our differences to be those who build up the whole church and community.
Today, I ask God to give me the strength to be a builder and repairer in the name of love. May we forgive and work together so that our houses, where ever we find ourselves might show forth the goodness of God and the abundant blessings we have been given.