"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

No Pigs Allowed

And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region. (Matthew 8:28-34 ESV)
If you've gone to church very much at all, this is a familiar story. I have always wondered why Jesus was begged to leave, and why he sent the demons into the pigs.

It is unclear if these particular people were Jewish. And, if they were, what were they doing with pigs in the first place? Perhaps there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Jesus seldom did, or said anything that didn't have several layers of meaning. It occurred to me the other day that perhaps this was a living parable.

We as Christians tend to live our lives knowing that we aren't perfect; that there are all sorts of things wrong with the way we live the Christian life. We are willing to see, and admit to the common, acceptable, and perhaps visible wrongs in our life such as; jealousy, anger, selfishness etc. But when we start to let Jesus really work in our lives, he starts to point out the not so obvious things: things we may have buried so deep that we don't even see them, things that define us, and, sometimes things that have even been sanctioned by the church.

The pigs in our life.

And sometimes this becomes too much. We just want him to leave. To leave us and our life, and let us go back to living our comfortable, predicable lives. We're fine just the way we are - thank you very much - and we beg him to leave. But if we are serious about following Christ, we have to let him not only exorcise the demons that we can see, we have to let him get rid of the pigs that we don't see. We have to get rid of non-loving things like our attitudes towards gays and lesbians, people of differing religious beliefs, or that difficult person at work. They have to rush down the bank and into the sea.

Attitudes like this have no place in the Kingdom of God - just like a Jew had no business with a herd of pigs.

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