In Luke 8:26-39 a man possessed by a regiment of demons had lost all self-control. He was a wild man, dwelling among the tombs and suffering the great indignity of tearing off his clothes. In a dramatic confrontation, Jesus drove the demons out of the man and at their request let them possess a herd of pigs whom they promptly ran down an into the sea.
When the herdsmen and inhabitants of a nearby city came out to see what had happened, they found the man fully dressed and calmly sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to his new master. He wanted to follow Jesus; however, Jesus sent him back to the city to proclaim what Jesus had done for him.
Though we could get a bit wild during VBS at our church at Pipe Lake, Wi. we didn’t quite reach the level of the man in the gospel lesson. One of my strongest memories is sitting on the parsonage front porch with Eleanor Falb as our teacher. Eleanor had a pleasant voice as she went through the Bible lessons and helped us with our little projects, crosses and string and paper art. These were simple items which pressed the limits of my craftsmanship, nonetheless.
In mid – July we will Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet. It’s a quiet scene, though not without tension, when Martha upbraids Jesus for keeping her sister from helping her. This story is troublesome to Lutheran women. But the story raises the question of just what is the best way to show hospitality when God comes to visit. Do we serve God first or does God first serve us?