Pentecost +4 - Year C
We have begun our 2010 Wisconsin Annual Conference. Word has come about a potential trial of a lay person in West Ohio and a probable clergy trial here in Wisconsin. Both are logical outcomes of the dismissive language regarding "self-avowed, practicing, homosexuals".
As I read this passage from Luke, I can't help but wonder if the demoniac in need of healing isn't the Church that has gotten out of its right mind in an over-zealous attempt at inappropriate purity. The potential trials are acting like the child in the story of an Emperor's New Clothes - demonstrating the nakedness of a dead-end attempt to protect G*D and to live among the tomb of the past.
Those attempting to keep this identity-politic, restrictive language of the Church, seem to bounce back and forth between shouting about being tormented by liberals (Jesus) and begging to not have to change their ways. If called out on the blaming they whine and soon after complaining will be back at yelling for their way - and around and around it goes.
In this story, the demoniac/church is healed at the expense of pigs and those who earn their livelihood through them. This seems to have torn the community apart, as they ask/demand Jesus leave, even as Jesus sends forth a healed demoniac/church to do Pentecostal testimony regarding an amazing, expansive, and experienced love of G*D.
There will be fall-out when current United Methodist Church policy changes, economics may well be affected, but healing work will have been done and there is no adequate measure of this grace and no adequate reason to keep from a needed healing.