Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
June 19, 2016
Those Poor Pigs
When discussing the story of Jesus driving demons out of the man and into the herd of pigs, people often feel bad for the pigs. What had those innocent creatures done to deserve their treatment?
Some scholars believe Jesus chose this particular course of action because it showed that the demons were undoubtedly gone. The man who had been possessed could see that his life was forever changed. No more demons. Those watching could see that they had no more reason to fear these demons or the man once possessed by them.
But rather than be inspired, the villagers feared Jesus and demanded he leave. Heíd upset their well-ordered lives with his miracle. When God does amazing things, are you forever changed? Or are you afraid of things and people you donít understand? In other words, are you still worried about those poor pigs?
The healed man wanted to travel along with Jesus, sharing his good news, but Jesus challenged him instead to remain where he was in his sleepy village and “declare how much God has done for you.”
Are you willing to travel far and wide, sharing the good news with strangers? Great! But what if you were equally willing to stay and live your faith in your own spaces and placesófollowing Jesus instead to the local homeless shelter or community garden? What if you spent time with those who are lonely or hard to love right here at home?
How can we declare what God has done for us? We respond to this amazing gift of grace with our faith in God, our love for God and our neighbor, and our hope in this life and the next.
And we can stop worrying about those poor pigs.
Ruth Cole Burcaw, executive director, Board of Cooperative Ministries of the Moravian Church, Southern Province