Wednesday before Proper 8: Luke 9:37-43
Reading: Luke 9:37-43
I had a friend that had a demon cast out of him once.
It wasn’t on purpose. He didn’t even have a demon. He just got himself into a situation where the only way out was to let somebody do an exorcism.
It was at the Cornerstone music festival, a Christian festival for decades held in Peoria, IL. As I understand it, they closed up shop in recent years. There was a growing punk scene happening at the time (this is ages ago before CCM worship took over ruined everything). Listening to one such band on a side stage, my friend started by dancing, then shaking, then, to camp it up, gurgling. At this point, another attendee presumed he was possessed, and commanded the demon to come out. Seizing an opportunity for what he thought would be hilarity, my friend took it up a notch. Within moments, a crowd had gathered and this woman had him by the shoulders, screaming at the demon. Tongues may have been involved.
At this point my friend realized that stopping with an, “I’m just kidding,” might not be well received by the woman or the crowd, so he resigned himself to acting out whatever he thought a person being freed from a demon might look like.
He passed the test, and we all learned a valuable lesson. Well, at least none of us ever pretended to be possessed again.
I struggle with pre-scientific possession stories like the one here in Luke 9. Many of them at this point are believed by scholars to have simply been undiagnosed mental health issues. King Saul behaved around David as though bi-polar. I don’t need one or the other to be true, but if they are scientifically explainable, what do you do with the apparent success of Jesus in removing it? If this were modernized, would the record reflect that “Jesus touched me, and my depression vanished forever?”
How do you process parts of scripture that might benefit from some basic scientific knowledge?
What do you make of demons and evil spirits?
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