Mark 1:29-39 (NRSV)
Verse 29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Verse 30Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. Verse 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Verse 32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. Verse 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. Verse 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. Verse 35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. Verse 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. Verse 37When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." Verse 38He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." Verse 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
The Minnesota All-State Lutheran Choir was scheduled to perform at Shetek Lutheran Bible Camp where I was executive director. I was not feeling well. Yet, I felt I needed to introduce the choir. Following the welcome and introduction, I sat apart and listened. I remember one song in particular, the African-American spiritual “Give Me Jesus”. I wept. By the end of the concert I felt normal! Yes, there are probably sound medical reasons why the fever broke. Healing happens in many ways for many reasons. The music was a metaphor for God’s healing action. Yet, I hear a voice asking “How does the name of Jesus factor into healing?”
A colleague shared his experience in counseling a young woman possessed by “Its.” Out of her mouth came demonic snarls! Following psychiatric counseling and group prayer sessions, my friend retorted to “Its,” “In the name of Jesus Christ, shut up!” “Its” left and went to the “Abyss.” Give me Jesus, you can have all the rest.
Holy Jesus, you have come to transform the world. We yield in gratitude to your Spirit of life. Amen.