We often go throughout our days harboring grievances or playing the victim when things don’t turn out the way we want. We spend a lot of time dwelling on the negative, often looking for reasons to be sad or depressed. I’ve read of people who respond to obituaries posted on Facebook with overwhelming grief, even when it is not people that they know, or even a “friend of a friend!”. Why do we search for things to make us depressed?
Perhaps it is the human condition that started with the Fall and Adam and Eve. They hid their nakedness in shame even when they didn’t know why they were ashamed! Now we continue to dwell on their transgressions for centuries never giving up the nagging grief that we failed.
In yesterday’s Gospel reading from Luke 10:17-20, we read a very different story. Jesus has just appointed seventy to go out in pairs to be lights to the rest of the world. Rather than complain about having no possessions, a home, or even two pair of sandals, instead they return to the Lord energized—the demons of the world have submitted to them!!
Jesus reinforces their joy by repeating that He has given them His authority and that they do have power over their enemies.
How could we ever be discouraged, when our birthright is to have command over our enemies?
But Jesus also reminds us we should not flaunt our powers, but instead find rest that our names are already engraved in heaven.
When was the last time you returned to Jesus with joy?
The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
I ask again, when was the last time you returned to Jesus with joy?
Blessings, my friend