Mark 3:15

and with power to drive out demons.

you’ll be tempted
to play a sparkly card
to garner attention
a soteriologic card
striking sparks from collisions
of evil with everything else
is mightily attractive

it is this very grave magnetism
that will occlude everything else
until you only see demonic collisions
and your hammer sees only nails
it’s true enough to attract attention
but it is vanity just old vanity
yes tempted

There have been ways of organizing scripture that go way back, our current versification begins with a Greek New Testament printed by Robert Estienne in 1551 (see Wikipedia article on Estienne).

It would be intriguing to know what was going on in the culture of church or society when chapters and verses were added to an otherwise run-on text that would put a verse break here—separating teaching from exorcism.

In the previous verse there was also a mention of “healing” which is no longer thought to a reliable transmission of the text. This would mean distinguishing the expulsion of demons from standard healing as well as from preaching/teaching/witnessing/proclaiming.

Regardless of this versification frustration, this remains an important moment in Mark. The three-fold process of staying close to the source of belovedness Jesus experienced, making the implications of that belovedness of all creation clear through word and deed, and making corrections where these have been forgotten is similar to the General Rules of United Methodism which is presented in reverse order: do no harm, do good, stay partnered with G*D.

Whether lived forward or backward in terms of first, second, and third, the gifts of grounding, support, and correction remain critical components of dealing with being in a wild place. These tools come as a result of wilderness testing and have been reliable down through ages and cultures.

A chart may help to visualize this in your own life. Draw your own. Keep it for a month. Let it inform you about your life.

date what grounded me today?
was it belovedness?
where did I reveal my values in word & deed? how did I relieve pain, loss, trauma, bondage?

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