Napa Methodist Church 2016 Lenten Devotional

Devotional for Tuesday, February 16

Sally Archambault Community Corner, Lent 2016

Matthew 8:28-34

Jesus met two demoniacs on the road, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that on one could pass that way. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God?…”

Are we more concerned about property than people? How foolish and yet how easy it is to value possessions and investments above human life. Would you send Jesus away, have him leave you, rather than understand his work? What are the demons that we come across in our daily lives? Do we make an effort to cast them out, to do Jesus’ work?

According to Jewish ceremonial laws, the men Jesus encountered on the road were unclean in three ways: they were Gentiles, they were demon-possessed, and they lived in tombs. Jesus helped them even though they were considered unclean. He placed value on their lives and made them whole.

If we want to follow Jesus’ example, we should not turn our backs on people who are “unclean” or repulsive to us or who violate our moral standards and religious beliefs. Instead, we must realize that every human individual is a unique creation of God, needing to be touched by love.

By saving these men, Jesus showed that he valued the life of each of these men over the swine, (their possessions). After the swine were dead, the people of the town asked Jesus to leave. They were afraid of him and his actions. They lost a herd of pigs! This was their livelihood. The herd was considered very important to them. They were angry. They did not understand the mission of Jesus.

Let us reevaluate how we connect to all people, caring and touching others with compassion and love. This way we acknowledge them for the people they are not what they possess.

Jesus had his priorities straight. Do you?

Loie Whitmer

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