In Peter’s letter, the author refers to the devil as prowling around like a roaring lion waiting to devour you. Some literal minded Christians personify the devil. At times he shows up with horns, a tail and cloven feet. I much prefer to see “the devil” as a metaphor for the evil that exists in unfinished creation. Evil roamed about like a roaring lion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
At times it seems as if some evil force messes with our lives. The Buddha, the Christ, and Peter tell us that we will suffer, that things will go wrong, “The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little, To him be dominion forever, Amen.”
We spent three days packing and getting ready to leave Florida. The mountains were calling and it was time to go. I had let the bike rack down in from of our pull behind trailer and forgot to put it back. Right out of our driveway, I ended up with a tear in the sheet metal on the trailer. I applied duck tape to the wound and set out. I even stopped before we left to resort and did a walk around inspection. We got on I-95 and headed north. A man in a truck signaled me to look behind. I pulled over and the door of the trailer had popped open. Up rolled a motorcycle and the rider has Joan’s clothes bag that had fallen out. Joan only told me later in the day that all her jewelry was in that bag. Thank God for the man on the motorcycle. I said, “Man, I owe you. He pointed upward and said I have my reward.”
By this time I was totally frustrated. I said, “God, there seems to be some evil forces messing with us and the trip home. Give us safe travel.” Now the rest of the story. We stopped overnight in Dublin, Georgia and arrived safely in Young Harris yesterday. No more messes. We had traveled under the protection of a beneficent Creator.
Isn’t this the story of Easter? By coming and doing the will of Abba and suffering non-violently at the hands of empire and state religion, Jesus overcame the evil powers in the universe. Yet the violence and killing goes on. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we really believe on the power of the Cosmic Christ who promised to be with us all days, we could bring about the change we seek. We have a mantle of Divine Life surrounding and guiding us. Let’s just do it!