Matthew 8:28-9:1

            At some point all people, including you and me, must deal with Jesus.  Why? Because he is a force to be reckoned with.
            Eventually, we know that a storm will come.  It may be sunny today, and the forecast might predict more sun or partly sunny for a while.  But we know the weather will change.  Here in Wisconsin we’ve had an unusually dry winter so far.  Not very much snow.  It’s coming, though.  There will be a snow storm.  It won’t be here today or tomorrow.  But it will come.
            Jesus will come.  A person might not have to contend with him today, maybe not tomorrow.  But, eventually, there will be a whopper of a storm and you will have to deal with it.  In today’s Gospel lesson, two men described as being severely influenced by demons approached Jesus.  Inside of them was such a terrible inner storm that they shouted at Jesus.
            Jesus, however, has authority over storms.  He commands them as he wills.  As fierce as the men were (the demons were so many that they were exorcised into a herd of pigs), Jesus had the authority to deal with the situation.  The storm within the men subsided.
            Yet, the storm picked up with the townsfolk.  It seems they had been living their merry lives with no thought to Jesus.  But he showed up.  They had to contend with the authority right there in front of them.  They chose poorly.  We are meant to see a connection in the story between the demons who begged Jesus, and the people of the town who begged Jesus.  They didn’t humbly beg to follow him; they begged him to get away from him, to leave them alone.
            Jesus is an authoritative force to be reckoned with… and he’s coming to your town.  Maybe not today, perhaps not tomorrow.  But things will not always be the way they are right now.  People will have to face Jesus.

 

Jesus Christ, Son of God, you are Lord over the wind, the waves, and the weather.  You also command the unseen, and they obey.  You are God with us.  Oh, that all people would beg to follow you and not beg you to leave!  I am grateful for your power and authority over all things.  Amen.

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