DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
One of the great deceptions of life is thinking that we have control, are in control and are capable of bringing things under our control.
The reality is there is very little we have control over--if anything at all. Our infatuation with control grows from our desire to be independent and on our own. We may quote Invictus but Henley was wrong. We are not the masters of our fate nor the captains of our souls.
The story of the demon-possessed man at Gerasene provides a lesson about our inability to be in control. The story starts with a man who has no control of his life. He lives in a place that only gives the witness of death in the tombs. He participates in self-mutilation and cries uncontrollably in anguish because of his condition.
The community attempts to address his problem by controlling him since he cannot control himself. Their efforts are reflected in the chains they used to subdue him. Binding him is their best solution so they put chains on his hands and feet. However, the chains were no match for the source of his problem. Thus, the chains were broken over and over again.
The demons that tormented the man thought they were in control but discovered that when Jesus appeared they had no control at all. Even the demons had to ask permission of Jesus to be banished into another living thing, swine, as opposed to being cast into nothingness.
The only person with control in the story who had the power to order affairs and events was Jesus. Jesus used the power that he had of control not to bind but to liberate and set free.
Whenever control is seen as a power that we hold over or use against others, we do damage to divine intent. The work of liberation is to be our focus because each time we do the work of liberation we are tearing down the images that the powers that work against us would have us to bow down and worship. Control is never to be our aim but using the power that God has given us to tear down the strongholds that would have us to live beneath divine intent.
The pandemic has taught us a lot and the variations of the virus keeps telling us we are not in control. But we can do the work of liberation by addressing the disparities the pandemic has highlighted. We can look for new ways to work together in collaboration that uplift the entire community and not just segments.
There are still lessons for us to learn and I pray that we will learn them and not try to control what cannot be controlled but do the work of liberation.