On Calling Some Things Inside Us to be Silent

"What do you think about demons?" he asked me.

Honestly, I was just trying to drink coffee. I was not trying to get into a theological debate and dissect demonology with someone I didn't know.

But the question hung in the air..."What do you think about demons?"

Honestly, I don't know what to think about demons. Giving evil too much power and say in the world is dangerous, especially if you believe, as Christians do, that every Sunday we celebrate the "feast of victory of our Lord" rendering anything other than love and wholeness ultimately impotent in the face of a God who won't even let death have the final say in this existence.

And yet, well, I've seen evil. I know evil systems, and have even heard evil within myself in times when my shadow-self took the wheel.

A friend of mine named her depression. It told her terrible things, untrue things, and she needed to name it so she could say, "Knock it off, Deidre" when it got out of hand.

The man I met in Colorado, Wit, who I've spoken of in sermons and written about. He was certainly wrestling with something evil inside of him that told him to count his ribs every morning...and still that wasn't enough. Every bone needed to be seen through that thin skin he wore like an over-sized trench coat.

Do I think there are demons trying to infect people like viruses? I can't say that's in my worldview. My friend and colleague in Papua New Guinea is currently on a crusade to save that country from outdated belief systems that include witches, because they end up killing young girls, accusing them of being demons and spreading disease.

That's an example of how careless talk about demons/devils can lead to terrible atrocities.

And yet I know evil is real, and it feels like evil sometimes has legs: running from, dodging, avoiding, escaping...

This Sunday's Gospel lesson has Jesus being revealed as a powerful teacher, one who can even cast out demons.

It's Mark 1:21-28, by the way. Go ahead and read it before you go on...it won't take long.  Read more

Sunday's Readings
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 23
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28

This Sunday is Preschool Sunday, when we welcome GSLP families into church with us and are blessed by the sound of preschool voices sharing their gift of song with us. Andrew Buck recently shared thoughts on welcoming children in church, and you can read them here.

Coffeehouse Help Needed - Friday, January 26 at 7:00 pm  Can you join our Coffeehouse Crew to serve our guests this month? We need approximately 25 adult and youth helpers to assist with set-up, serving, and clean-up for approximately 200 guests. Just show up or sign up to serve at
Blessing Bags Assembly - Saturday, January 27 at 12:00 pm in Fellowship Hall  Join us for fun and fellowship as we assemble Blessing Bags with the donations from our congregation to help those we see in our community that are in need.  Learn more and RSVP.  

Worship on Wednesdays (WOW) - Wednesday, January 31, 5:15-6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall   This monthly worship service is geared towards families with small children but all are welcome! Join us for pizza at 5:15 pm followed by a family-friendly worship service at 5:30-6:00 pm.
Preschool Open House and Art Show Rescheduled   Due to the inclement weather, the Preschool Open House and Art Show will now be held on  Thursday, February 1, 6:00-8:00 pm . Come learn more about our preschool, meet the teachers and view our preschoolers' artistic creations! All are welcome; invite your friends.

An Evening with Ruby Sales - Thursday, February 1, 7:00-9:00 pm Join members of Good Shepherd and the community at this free event at NCCU. Ruby Sales is a civil rights activist and one of 50 African Americans spotlighted in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The Good Shepherd bus may be available if we have enough interest, so contact the church office if you'd like to ride.
Shepherds' Informational Meeting - Sunday, February 4, 9:30-10:30 am in Fellowship Hall Are you looking for an opportunity to deepen your faith while walking alongside our Way of the Shepherd newcomers in their faith journey? Consider serving as a sponsor (shepherd). At this meeting with Pastor Tim, you will hear more about the shepherds' role and determine whether it's the opportunity for you.
Good Shepherd is currently seeking a part-time Interim Director of Music Ministry  to manage the music program of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for the glory of God and consistent with the high standards and traditions of the Lutheran Church. If you know someone that is interested, please share  this information  with them.
Preschool Registration Is Now Open  Find out more about our preschool and registration at  gslchurch.org/preschool .

Day Camp Registration Has Begun  Camp week is July 9-13, and Agape Day Camp at GSLC is open to rising 1st - 6th graders. More info and online registration is available at  gslchurch.org/connect/day-camp.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements .

The January edition of The Shepherd's Voice is available  online.

Health and Healing for Rachel and Nelvin Cooper; Courtney McLaren, granddaughter of Sue Ragone; and Iris Moyo .

Safekeeping for Andrew Buck, Barb Newcomer and Jillian Scalvini who are traveling to  ELCA Youth Ministry Network, Extravaganza 2018 in Houston this week.

Thanksgiving for this Sunday's  baptism of Avery Nga Walker, daughter of Ben and Jennifer Walker; GSLC Preschool staff and students; and the newly-elected GSLC Council Members.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including  Siphathisiwe Sigono and Memory Zhou .

Si pha will soon turn 21. She is a cheerful, energetic, outgoing young lady. She is presently attending Zvishavane Vocational School. She visited with our 2017 mission team at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. She and her four siblings are all in the GSLC support program. Sipha's Mail For Mnene partners are the Caudill and Valenti families.

Memory is 23 and happily married. As of November 2017, she is living in Gweru, Zimbabwe with her husband and baby. Mnene staff report that she is happy, well cared for and doing well. She is no longer in the GSLC support program. We continue to keep her and her family in our prayers. Her Mail For Mnene partners are Randy and Lori King and Bonnie Livingston.

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