God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.
Daily Prayer - 2013-10-11
God is with me, but more,
"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp
How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
But some of them said, 'He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.' Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? - for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, "I will return to my house from which I came." When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.'
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- We are less inclined to use the language of demonic possession, but this does not stop us from understanding much of what Jesus teaches here. He announces that God is in charge, God has bound up the strong man, so all the factions and parties vying for power are meaningless: 'the Kingdom of God has come to you'.
- The drama of the unclean spirit wandering around is a powerful story of what psychology calls the 'return of the repressed'. If you try to repress a painful memory or emotion, you will fail, because it will only erupt with even greater and more destructive force. For religious people, anxious to distance themselves from their own sinfulness, and from sin in general, this can result in judgemental hypocrisy - as Jesus knew all too well.
- How about me? Am I truly committed to building up God’s Kingdom? Do the 'demons' of self-satisfaction and false holiness have any kind of purchase in my house?
Dear Lord, help me each day
to seek your presence more and more.
Fill my heart with love for you.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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