[Jesus said] “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” Luke 8:39
During the summer of 2008, overwhelming rains flooded farmland in Iowa. Farmers lost valuable corn and soybean crops. Thousands of pigs drowned or had to be put down after spending too many days in contaminated water. Farmers grieved for the loss of crops, but it was the loss of livestock that ate a hole in their hearts.
In the scripture today, Jesus came across a man whose spirit had been possessed for years by demons. Jesus ordered the demons out of his body and into a herd of swine. Immediately, the hogs began to act of control and ran over a cliff, and fell into a lake and drowned. Unlike the farmers in Iowa who were concerned about their physical and financial loss, the herdsmen were more interested in the miracle they just witnessed. They ran to town and told everyone what they had seen.
Eventually, the people wanted everything to return to normal and asked Jesus to leave. The man who was no longer possessed wanted to stay with Jesus. Instead Jesus commissioned him to became his first missionary where he served among the people who had rejected both he and Jesus.
The farmers who suffered great loss were like the man whose soul had been restored. They moved forward, purchased more hogs which produced baby pigs. And, they trusted God that once again they would produce bacon, ham, and thick Iowa pork chops.
Dear God, heal the demons within our spirit to allow us to serve you in Jesus’ name. Amen.