Chapter-a-Day Luke 8

Gollum in Peter Jackson's live-action version ...
Image via Wikipedia

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Mob. My name is Mob,” he said, because many demons afflicted him. And they begged Jesus desperately not to order them to the bottomless pit.

A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged Jesus to order them into the pigs. He gave the order. It was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the lake and drowned.

Just the other day I finished a trilogy of books by Brent Weeks [I plan to write a post about them]. They wove an amazing story of good and evil and within there was a character who made conscious choices to embrace evil, yet those choices were ultimately woven into the climactic good of all. Wendy and I ended up in a long discussion about the theme of good and evil in some of our favorite stories.

In the Lord of the Rings, the character of Gollum is a mischeivous, evil character. To the very end he is offered opportunities to turn from his ways, but instead chooses into his lust for the ring. Yet, without that choice, evil would have ultimately have triumphed.

In Harry Potter, the character of Wormtail is a despicable character who has chosen into the darkness, yet his actions ultimately pave the way for good to prevail.

I thought of these literary reflections of the Great Story as I read today’s chapter. I found it interesting that Jesus had the power to cast the mob of demons into the abyss and the demons knew it. Surely they deserved such and end. Yet they pleaded with Jesus not to do so and Jesus acted with compassion.

I’m perplexed at his decision, and challenged.

The further I travel in the journey, the less likely I find myself to render quick judgement on any person. I can’t see all ends, and I find that God weaves His good  purposes through despicable individuals and their acts.

Today, as I mull over these things, my heart whispers the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the the things (and persons) I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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