A New Norm
In a time when the bottom is falling out of everything we've considered normal in this country, I’m reminded of a sermon preached years ago out of Mark 5:1–20 about the demoniac living at the tombs.
In the story, the poor man—totally overcome with demons, a legion of demons to be specific—has a divine appointment with Jesus and is miraculously set free. His demons, about to be ousted from their comfy living quarters inside him, are thrown into a panic. Needing some other place to act up and freely express themselves, they beg Jesus to send them into a peaceful herd of pigs on the hillside. Jesus consents to their request and the next thing we read, 2000 freaked out porkers rush headlong down a steep slope and are downed in the sea.
You can imagine the shock to those who tended those pigs. They beat it out of there as if they’d seen a boogeyman and spread the horrific news far and wide. Their newsworthy story draws a crowd. Curiosity piques. If in today’s setting, the media would pounce right on it.
That crowd arrives on the scene to find the hillside indeed devoid of said pigs. Seeing the demoniac man clothed and in his right mind, sitting with strangers, they freak out. Having identified the head honcho of the group, they insist Jesus and His cohorts leave their coasts immediately.
The point of the sermon was, why would people be so upset that Jesus set someone free?
Because Jesus disrupted their normal.
The poor guy was overcome by demons, wild as a Tasmanian devil, wandering among the tombs acting fierce and threatening, shrieking, screaming day and night, cutting himself—what part of that would we consider normal? Why should setting captives free, healing broken hearts, opening blind eyes, making the lame walk, even raising the dead, be considered abnormal?
Lord, in this crazy world we live in, where things are getting so topsy-turvy, where good is now considered evil and evil good, where demonic winds and waves crash against humanity, agitating and wrecking souls, inflicting extreme suffering, holding people in bitter bondage, we ask for a new normal—Your kingdom normal—to be established. Which isn’t new at all because You are the ancient path where weary humanity, like the demoniac man, finally finds rest for their souls. [i]
Revive your Church. Raise her up from the tombs in power. Send her into the harvest to oust the enemy and to set up Your new norm.
[i] Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:28