I've always wondered how pastors across the nation dealt with yesterday's Gospel, with its message of demons and Jesus quieting them. I realize that some churches will deal with demons as ways that ancient people explained mental illness, while there are still quite a few churches that would tell you that demons really exist.
I remember once in a Religious Phenomenology class, I did an oral presentation on exorcism along with a partner. One of our classmates, a Baptist minister at the age of 19, said, "Oh, yeah, I've done lots of exorcisms." He was the first person I'd ever met who truly believed in modern demon possession. Our oral presentation went downhill from there.
So, yesterday's Gospel: our pastor focused on Jesus silencing the demons. He reminded us that in the person of Jesus, we receive the promise that the Powers that are lined up against us and against God will not have the last word. Jesus gives us not the silence of death, but the word of promise, and thus, death has no power over us.
What a great reminder: we may not understand the process in our rational brains, but nonetheless, death will not have the final word.
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