In Time after Epiphany, worship reminds us that we live in a world of competing values and conflicting interests. In the gospel readings, Jesus calls the disciples: “Follow me.” No sooner do they begin their ministry together than Jesus and the disciples are confronted with spirits of evil, death, disease, and oppression.
Following Jesus has always meant standing for the life and freedom of the gospel – and that also means standing against all the forces that diminish human life: other narratives, other value systems, other powers. Like Jesus and the disciples, our lives often bring us into contact with forces of sickness and death, evil and oppression.
In baptism, we ask one another, “Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?” And we respond together, “We renounce them!”
For many progressive Christians, it can be uncomfortable to use language like “sin” or “the devil” or “evil spirits.” Even if those words aren’t a part of your typical vocabulary, the experiences of pain and alienation that they describe are a daily reality. So, whether you use those words or other words, you’re invited to tell us a story:
How has your call to follow Jesus moved you to confront the evil or demonic forces of the world?
How is your community standing against racism, materialism, patriarchy, or any other value system that distorts the gospel?
In your life, where are the spaces and places of spiritual conflict?
When was a time that something in your life had to end in order for something new to begin?
If any of these questions prompt a reflection in you, consider sharing your testimony in worship. Contact Luke Allgeyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to sign up.