Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Luke 4:31-37 (NRSV)
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
As I was reading this passage, I remembered the first youth retreat for which I served as an adult leader. There were seasoned adult leaders on the trip, so I participated more as an observer. The last night of the retreat, one group of youth were especially loud and would not settle down and go to sleep. For several minutes the other leaders coaxed, cajoled, and begged everyone to get quiet and go to sleep. Finally I took off my observer hat and yelled as loud as I could “HUSH AND GO TO SLEEP! NOW!!!” You could have heard a pin drop. They never made another peep, and everyone got a good night’s rest. The other leaders teased me the next day about the authority with which I spoke. It had surprised me as well, but it worked.
Jesus spoke with authority. He rebuked the demon. What demons are you battling? They are those voices, those feelings, those emotions that separate you from the love of God. They make us forget who we are and whose we are. When they seem to be the only voice you can hear, remember that you have a Savior who will intercede for you and will face your struggles with you.
Powerful and loving God, silence the demons that destroy relationships and separate us from your unconditional love. Give us strength as we seek to be your disciples. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Go with God.