Thought for the Day – Sunday 19th July

Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Matthew 8 : 33 – 34

There’s a famous saying, sometime attributed to German statesman Otto Von Bismarck, that goes, “Laws are like sausages, it is best not to see them being made.” There are many things in life that we benefit from, like just laws or sausages, that we enjoy in blissful ignorance of how they are made. If we did see the messy process that goes into their creation, there’s every chance we’d be put off them altogether.

On the surface Jesus had done an amazing thing for this village. He had found two men controlled by a host of demons and so he liberated them from their tormentors. Two men returned to their families, that sounds like a good thing right? But how it happened was rather unsettling. As we read yesterday Jesus had transferred the demons into a herd of pigs who then ran into the lake and drowned. It reads like something out of a horror. So when the townspeople heard of this they wanted nothing to do with this weird Galilean preacher, they wanted him gone.

Sometimes making change in this world is messy and strange. Every change, from massive society wide shifts to the smallest of personal changes, upsets the status quo and requires compromise, negotiation and improvisation. And it’s only more so when God is involved. All throughout the Bible we see a God who is willing to challenge the status quo, interrupt peoples complacency and take them out of their comfort zone.

We can be like those villagers and want nothing to do with anything strange or unfamiliar, we can beg for Jesus to just move on and leave us alone. Or we can step out of our comfort zone and join Jesus on his strange and wonderful mission to change our world.

Prayer: Lord Jesus help me to have the courage to step out of the boat, to leave behind what is comfortable and follow you wherever you lead. Help me not to fear change but to embrace it as a chance to see this world changed for the better.

Action: What thing are you avoiding because it’s not in your comfort zone? Pray for a burst of courage and give it a go.

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