Bringing the Text to Life

Speaking the S-word 1 Samuel 16:14-23

This week's texts give you the opportunity to address aloud the S-word - Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, Evil. The church's reluctance to even admit the existence of genuine evil has usually played right into the hands of this demonic side of existence, leaving people frightened and confused when confronted by these forces in themselves and others. "Equipping the saints" for good and evil encounters, the stuff of daily life, is the focus of this week's material.

"Saint Anthony wrestled with him, Luther taunted him and Milton immortalized him in Paradise Lost. To Saint Paul, he was 'the god of this world,' and he and his helpers figure in the New Testament nearly twice as often as the Holy Spirit. He is, needless to say, the Devil - next to Jesus Christ the most familiar figure in Christian lore ... Over the last two centuries he has been debunked by rationalists, exorcised by psychotherapists and demythologized by theologians." ("Giving the Devil His Due," Newsweek, 30 August 1982, 72.)

Just when no one is looking, the Devil sneaks up on us and demands his due. You all know the Devil. He's the one that makes the lights red if you're late for an appointment. He's the one that jams the elevator between the two top floors. He's the one that deviled you into thinking that marriage would be a bunch of hot kisses rather than a pile of dirty dishes. He's the one that makes you forget to write to loved ones who need your words of encouragement so...

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