Monday, March 2, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent Day 11

Daily Devotion for Lent

Monday, March 2, 2015 Day 11

Mark 5:1-20 (NRSV)

Like attracts like.

Pigs may be unclean, but they are
actually quite intelligent.
A lot of Protestant Christians today look at this story and feel somewhat sorry for the pigs.  These poor beasts not only were possessed by demons, they drowned themselves!

Not a great way for any of us to go.

As we think about the economics of that day, this would have been devastating to the local economy. Is it any wonder they asked Jesus to leave their area?  They might have been afraid for the rest of their livestock!

A Jewish reader in that day would have seen it as humorous.  Pigs were unclean animals and so it would be quite natural for unclean spirits to be drawn to them.  The loss would have come to either Gentiles or Jews flaunting the Law and so this would add to the impression that this all worked out okay.  If the owners were Jewish, they would have likely sold them to Roman occupiers which would also be suspect.

And so as the swine perish, are the owners somehow made clean?

In their loss of fortune, do they gain something more - a cultural equivalent of a clean slate?

I wonder how they might excuse themselves to profit in this way?

Surely, we wouldn't do a similar thing today.

The miraculous intervention of God at times may seem to come as a loss.  What if there is really gain to be had?

Prayer by Clara H. Scott, 1895:

Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Photo by Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

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