verb / de•liv•er
: “to set free”
: “to take and hand over”
: “to give birth to”
: “to speak, sing, utter”
: “to send to an intended target or destination”
: “to come through with”
From Merriam-Webster, “Deliver.”next >
When he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down before him. Then he shouted, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” He said this because Jesus had already commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken possession of him, so he would be bound with leg irons and chains and placed under guard. But he would break his restraints, and the demon would force him into the wilderness.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had entered him. They pleaded with him not to order them to go back into the abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, and the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned.
Luke 8:28-33next >
Researcher and Storyteller Brené Brown says that “shame corrodes the part of us that believes we can change and do better.” When we tell ourselves that no one could ever understand our situation, shame festers within us and locks us up within ourselves.
But, when we have the courage to speak about it, shame can’t survive. When we’re brave enough to name whatever demons we are facing, they don’t have the power over us that they once had.
In today’s text, the man calls himself “Legion” because of the many demons within him, but when he names them out loud, they lose power over him. Jesus refuses to let the demons speak and act for this man. In fact, at Jesus’ command, they rush into a herd of pigs and drown themselves in the sea.
Know that whatever situation is festering within you today, you are not alone. God gives each of us the courage to name and to face our challenges, and God can and will break down the shame that tries to keep us locked inside ourselves.
Mary Alice Birdwhistellnext >
Deliver me, oh God, from the relentlessness of shame that tries to keep me locked up inside myself. Give me courage to name my fears and to walk with you wherever the journey leads. Amen.next >
May our good God fully deliver you
from whatever it is that is
holding you back,
dragging you down,
locking you in,
or drowning you out,
so that you might be free
to do what God is calling you to do
and to become who God is creating you to be.
Mary Alice Birdwhistell
Mary Alice Birdwhistell serves as the associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, where she enjoys sharing life with a beautifully diverse community of people. She is a graduate of Georgetown College in Kentucky and Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Texas, and she claims both states to be “home.” Mary Alice loves the color purple, anything chocolate, and Kentucky basketball.
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