Declare God’s Goodness
By Karin Peter of Olympia, WA, USA
“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. —Luke 8:39 NRSV
One of my loved ones is an addict. He has been clean and sober for some time now, but it took a couple of times in rehabilitation to make that happen. It also took the realization that staying sober meant separating himself from friends who also were addicts. It was too hard to stay clean when everyone he socialized with was getting high. His “friends” wanted him to go back to the way he was before.
The people in Gerasenes behave similarly. When they discover Jesus has healed the demon-possessed man, they are uncomfortable and afraid. They, too, want to go back to the way they were before.
Restoring right relationships with God, others, and the Earth is a journey of healing. We must commit to change some of our own behaviors and make some difficult choices. The habits of unhealthy relationships often are embedded deeply in our lives and our communities.
Making changes, even positive ones, can be unsettling for us and those around us. Instead, it may seem easier to go back to the way it was before. As disciples of Jesus Christ we walk in faith with the knowledge we are not on this journey alone. Grace, mercy, and healing abound through the ministry and presence of Jesus. Hallelujah! God is good.
Prayer for Peace
God, we rely on your wisdom to help us know if going back to our old ways is a good choice or not. If our behaviors take us back to a comfortable but undisciplined place, then show us a better way. If our behaviors bring us closer to you, we can share your peaceful presence with others.
Spiritual Practice: Making Responsible Choices
Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in your choices. The practice of discernment invites us to orient our lives toward God and God’s vision for us and creation. Begin by reviewing the responsibilities and opportunities in the day before you. Take these choices into prayer, asking God for wisdom and insight about what matters most.
Today, God, I will weigh my choices carefully and welcome you as a companion on my journey.