The live sermon recording failed this week, so instead of having no podcast (which is a bummer) or re-preaching it to no-one-all-alone-in-my-room… I called up Susan Littleton! Sue is a part of Eucharist and was happy to sit down with me and play the role of our whole congregation in the sermon.
And we couldn’t have picked a stranger one: the text this week is about unclean spirits, and exorcisms! HA!
It’s easy to want to write off this sort of talk in scripture as superstitious nonsense, but in many ways the stories of Jesus reveal a part of reality that our culture has forgotten: that there are very real spiritual powers around us, and that they can be unclean!
What does Jesus do with these unclean spirits, and what does it mean for us? Let’s dive in.
21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24 and he cried out, “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.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.