Proper 7 – Year C

1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a; Psalms 42 and 43; (or Isaiah 65:1-9; Psalm 22:18-27); Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39

“Our demons are our own limitations, which shut us off from the realization of the ubiquity of the spirit . . .  each of these demons is conquered in a vision quest.” – Joseph Campbell

                Would people be surprised to find us sane, and in our right mind?  It would surprise the neighbors.  Yet, if the tomb dweller demon possessed man that Jesus cured can get it all together (Luke 8:35) so can we.  When the town folks saw that the man was no longer raving they were afraid.  Would people be afraid if we no longer raved?  No doubt, we all have demons.  To be possessed is culturally accepted.  To be fiend free is countercultural.  And that is scary, putting fear in the heart of the status quo.  Our demons are legion (Luke 8:30).  Here’s the short list: demons of possessiveness, hoarding toys, extreme individualism, self-centeredness, racial prejudice, homophobia, or exclusiveness.  These, and many other, demons are so culturally accepted that even in our churches they sit next to us, parking themselves betwixt and between our children; and we think nothing of it.  We continue to worship Jesus as we cuddle with our demons.  If we would let Jesus expel these creatures down the side of a cliff (Luke 8:33) we might not fit into our society?  The folks from the village might ask us to leave.  Even Jesus had to leave on that day (8:37).  But the man in the Gospel story, after his vision quest, stayed on to change his culture (Luke 8:39).  So can we, in our right mind.

Greek

                Luke 8:28 is usually translated something like “What have you to do with me?” or “What do you want with me?”  Both are correct translations.  However, the Greek is an idiomatic expression and literally says “what to me and to you.”  It is the same expression Jesus uses to answer Mary when she tells him that the wine has run out at the Cana wedding (John 2:4).

                In Luke 8:31 the demons ask Jesus not to send them back into the Abyss.  In English this is properly capitalized.  According to popular mythology of the day, the Abyss was a proper name referring to the home of the demons and evil spirits, the world of the dead.

Haiku

Demons pluck vision.

Yet fiends cliff tossed, lucid we.

Exorcised sober.

 

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