The Word on the Week

Pork Chopped

News of food contamination in the developed world travels fast. Sophisticated food testing in a number of European countries detected dioxins in pork fat as far back as September. Towards the end of November the source was traced to an animal food recycling plant in Ireland. When confirmation of high levels of contamination was obtained from the UK laboratory last Saturday the Government acted swiftly to recall all Irish pork products produced from pigs slaughtered in the State. Consumers emptied their fridges, retailers emptied their shelves and the process was repeated in our export markets as far away as Japan. There have been reassurances from “experts” that there is unlikely to be any health issues occurring to those whose diet contained pork since September but they sound hollow in the face of total product recall. The fear factor where food is concerned becomes paramount. By contrast we had a report yesterday from a missionary from N-W Cameroon. There food testing does not feature in the vocabulary. Water is the major concern. Its quality is so poor that you would hesitate to use it to water your garden. Yet this is the normal drinking supply used even for patients in the local clinic! Are the people in N-W Cameroon disinterested in health issues? Are they less interested in remaining alive than those of us in the developed world? Hardly! What does the Bible have to say about this “fear factor”? There is one incident when the Prophet Elisha was feeding his students with some contaminated stew (and there he quickly corrected the problem 2 Kings Ch.4v’s38/41) but not before the cry went up “O man of God there is death in the pot”! The resurrection of Jesus from the dead does, for those who trust him, put a different complexion on longevity. This difference is seen most plainly in the Apostle Paul’s declaration that “Death is swallowed up in victory”. Jesus removed its sting. Jesus makes fearful lives new as in the case of the man who lived among the tombs in the region of Gadarenes. He was cured at the expense of the local pig stock; St. Mark Ch.5v’s 11/20. In that case the people preferred their pigs to Jesus and sent him away. Reader, do not be like them!