There are two kinds of stories.
One story is that the world is holy.
The other is that it is not.
Which one do we believe?

In one story creation is filled with divine intention and goodness, revealing God.
In the other the world is about taking, grasping and clinging to whatever we can get.

In one story we build one another up in love.
In the other we use one another and tear one another down.

In one the chains are broken.
In the other the chains bind.

In one the shackles are opened.
In the other they are locked tight.

In one there is redemption and forgiveness.
In the other there is bondage and slavery.

Which one do we believe?

The people of God have a constellation of holy vocabulary to speak of the holiness of Creation. Justice, tender mercy, peace, righteousness the words that describe the completeness and purposefulness of creation, a creation that lives in covenant with the God who is just, tender, merciful, peaceful and uplifting.

When we live in that covenant, where all relationships carry a holy reverence, then creation blazes with God’s glory.
When the covenant is broken, then a spirit that is unclean begins to unravel the world, holiness is forgotten.

The confrontation begins today in Mark’s Gospel.
Jesus has hurriedly gathered his disciples and he rushes to teach in the synagogue and immediately the struggle begins.
The two stories—–collide.
Which will we believe? Which will we follow? Which will we live in?
An unclean Spirit yells out at Jesus, surprised at the arrival, the return of a universe where life is holy.
The unclean Spirit, the spirit of bondage and slavery and exploitation is cast out.
The line is drawn.
God advances, stealing the world back, reminding us of the story that is true, reminding us who we are.
Casting out the unclean Spirit.
The return of life being holy.
The consequence of the clash of these titanic narratives can only lead us to the cross and ultimately to resurrection.
Which do we believe?
The collision of these two definitions of the world, of these two different meanings of life, this collision fills this world even now.
Which do we believe?
Do we twist and condemn?
Or do we cast out the unclean Spirit and find God in the stuff of this world?
There are two stories.
One where the world is holy.
And the other where it is not.
One filled with the Holy Spirit.
The other with the unclean spirit.

The good news is that God believes in this world.
Jesus is God’s belief in the holiness of creation.
Jesus is proof that God never gives up on us.
Believe in that story.
Share it.
Live it.
Be set free.