Sunday Devotion: 23 June, 2019, Second Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday Devotions

Loss of identity

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Main readings: 1 Kings 19.1-4 (5-7), 8-15a; Psalm 42, 43; Galatians 3.10-14, 23-29; Luke 8. 26-39 [Isaiah 65.1-9; Psalm 22.20-29]

Supplementary readings: Psalm 93; Revelation 4.9-5.5; Psalm 71.14-24; Malachi 3.1-6; Philippians 3.7-11

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8.39)

All of us can tell a story about a time in our life when we felt like Humpty Dumpty – shattered and left in thousands of pieces. We could also share a story of how our life was put back together. These are the stories that others need to hear.

Jesus steps into the tormented life of the Gerasene demoniac. A man whose life is coming apart at the seams. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles. His name ‘Legion’, refers to a Roman army unit of about 6,000 soldiers. Essentially he is saying “I have been taken over. I am split into 6,000 pieces and broken.” This man has lost his identity.

It is helpful to not get too hung up on the word ‘demon’ in this story. Instead, we could speak about the internal forces which constrain us, and prevent us from growing into the person who God intended us to be. Addictions, obsessions, or destructive habits can cause our lives to become so unmanageable that we, too, can be cut off totally from family and community. We, too, can lose our self, our life, our name and our identity. We, too, can know what it is like to be Legion.

The healing power of God can set us free from those things that bind us. How might we return home, and declare how much God has done for us?

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