Asbury United Methodist Church
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November 8, 2017

This morning I was reading yet another block of Scripture where Jesus is doing battle with the Pharisees; and, an old 1970s R & B song started to play in my head.

          The scene opens and the Pharisees are convinced that Jesus gets his power from the devil or else otherwise, how can he cast out demons!   Only a big demon could cast out the little ones, so went their thinking!

          Jesus had the audacity to heal a blind man who was possessed by a demon and was also deaf. The town’s people remarked that surely Jesus was the son of David!

          The Pharisees got on their high horse and said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons (Matthew 12:24b NIV).”

          We are told that Jesus understood their remarks and replied, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 25:25 NIV).”

          Whether you are talking about the demon-possessing business or any other aspect of life, Jesus’ words are powerful! Nothing divided against itself can stand!

          Neither a home, nor our government nor Christ’s body the church can stand when it is divided! I am not sure who coined the term divide and conquer but the facts of life seem to bear out this truism.

          Over the years, I have seen some of the marriages that I have presided over become rocky and head for divorce! This is very sad news and nobody wins.

          Then as Don Henley tells us the lawyers dwell on small details (End of the Innocence, 1989); and, the marriage dies! You can peal back all the layers of disagreement but at the end of the day, division is the cause.

          At the end of the day, the vision each partner had for their marriage and family diverged. And, as Jesus tells us, a house divided cannot stand.

          Again, I quote John Wesley, “Though we may not all think alike, can we not all love alike (Catholic Spirit, sermon by John Wesley).”

          Sometimes in dealing with people, it’s like herding livestock where each member of the herd is determined to go their own way.   The end result is destructive chaos.

          I’ve seen cows wind up in pig pens. It was not pretty.  Take that look off your face, cow!  You have only yourself to blame!

          But when a team of Clydesdales pull in tandem, it’s a thing of wonder and beauty. The order and precision reminds me of a ballet.

          Shouldn’t homes and churches move in such harmony?   And, when we do, isn’t the harmony of the Holy Spirit present and do we not witness the whole as far greater than the sum of the parts?

          So, Jesus was talking about a house divided and Peaches and Herb started to sing in my head. To be honest, this one is a wee bit embarrassing:

Reunited and it feels so good…

          Reunited ‘cause we understood

(Reunited, Peaches and Herb, 2Hot, 1978)

          Oh well, it could have been worse. At least they didn’t sing Shake Your Grove Thing, earlier when I was reading about Jesus.

          You get inspiration where you can find it I suppose.   But, on a deeper level isn’t reconciliation and recovery major tenets to live by?

          Today may be a good day to seek some good-ol’ common, holy ground to work things out. I’m just sayin’!



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