Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Fury

I have always remembered Dr. Fischer telling us in an Asbury College psychology class that we would not need a textbook to know if we encountered someone suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.  I also remember the morning some ten years into my ministry when I guy walked into my office, started talking, and I knew firsthand the truth of what I had learned that day in psyche class.  No textbook was needed.  No one needed to spell it out for me.  The same thing might well be said of being in the presence of evil.  No textbook is needed. 

Now, I am the not kind of person to go round looking for demons in every bush.  I am more into what Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God..."  Evil may not be something we expect to encounter every day, but there are moments in our life when it happens, nonetheless.  All of us experience those moments differently.  It is not a "horn and tail" kind of moment, but one filled with such a dark oppressive spirit that an impossible to remove cloud seems to be hovering over us.  Descriptive words and phrases are not really adequate.  It is one of those things that we know not because we are prepared.  Instead, it is something we only know when we arrive.

Surely, Jesus stared into the eyes of Satan that Friday when He was nailed to the cross.   It was not the religious hierarchy or the political power brokers who stood up against Him that Friday, but the power of Satan himself.  Jesus had dealt with him on other occasions and always sent Him scurrying, but this time Satan thought He had truly bested Jesus.  But, it was not so.  Jesus stared into the vortex of the fury of evil being unleashed around Him and prevailed.  Unfortunately, evil is very present in our world, but we belong to the One who has already trumpeted its defeat on Resurrection Morning. 

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