We all have different demons in us: some more obvious than others. Whether those demons are uncontrolled, or uncontrollable impulses or addictions, or emotional-behavioral traits that allow us to act-out in inappropriate and/or unhealthy ways, we all have demons in us that can use some attention.
Lent is a good time for us to have this Markan account of the man living in the tombs with "legion" inside of him. Those demons which wracked this man recognized Jesus for who and what he was. We should compare this tortured man and his legion of demons to the folks who witnessed the miracle and those who came to see the cured man. This latter group, who did not understand (or want to know) who Jesus really was, had their own kind of demon within them manifested in their refusal or inability to see the miracle of the Holy One in their presence. These demons may have been a manifestation of their fear of change and growth - perhaps they preferred to foster a false desire insisting that there is no need for change, or growth: manifesting a desire that things remain the same, perhaps out of fear of the unknown. No matter what we call that behavior, or how we rationalize it, demons are present in it.
In our Hebrew Testament reading, we are still in the long story of Joseph and his brothers. The brothers have their own demons, but so does Joseph. We are in the midst of that painful part of the story where Joseph is setting his brothers up: we can actually watch Joseph act out, letting his demons control him, and we are about (in the next week) to witness Joseph work his way through, around and get past, his demons.
As we are about to enter the third week of Lent, this is a good time to reflect on our own demons. What are we going to do about those?
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.