To the depths
Then they arrived at the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on shore, a man from the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had not worn any clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, shouting, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me,” for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.
Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding, and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd stampeded down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they became frightened. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then the whole throng of people of the surrounding region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. ~ Luke 8:26-39
This is such a rich story with so much to tease out.
But let's just follow along with one of the themes of this week - God's steadfastness despite the roadblocks and divisions we put up.
God's taking outsiders and turning them into insiders.
Got making what is unclean, clean.
Jesus goes to the depths to save this man - a man who is literally and figuratively in the place of death. Jesus moves into the space where purity laws said not to go in order to save someone purity laws said to stay away from.
What spaces does Jesus go into today? To what depths will God go to save?
To Ukraine? Afghanistan? China? Russian? Iran?
To a mental health facility?
An abortion clinic?
To a supervised injection site?
The streets where homeless people live without shelter?
To an AA meeting?
And where are the places we are called to go? To what depths are we being called?
And when we get there, what are we being called to give?
Help me not to be afraid to go where I am called - not matter how frightening they might seem. Amen