Monday, June 14, 2010

Gospel Text for Sunday, June 20th

Luke 8:26-33

Jesus and his disciples arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me" -- for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

Questions for engaging the text:
- What do I observe" What am I seeing" Does this passage raise questions for me?
- Is anything attracting me, drawing my attention, or repulsing me?
-What response is emerging within me? What is my response to what is attracting me?***
-In what ways might I specifically act on my insights in the world
I really want to hear from you. Thank you for clicking on "Comments" below and adding your responses.
Grace and Peace, Debra
*** 1st three questions taken from The Art of Engaging Holy Scripture curriculum (see resources)

1 comment:

  1. I observe a homeless and naked man suffering. Apparently he was so disturbed and considered so dangerous that he could not be in the city. I don't know if he chose to leave or if he was exiled to live alone among the tombs, a place considered fearsome and unclean. Somehow, in the midst of his torment, the man recognized Jesus as the Son of God, prostrated himself before him and pleaded, "What do you want with me?"

    In a strange way I am attracted to the tormented man. There have been times when I have felt so beset and afflicted, so disturbed and lonely that all I could do was lie down, face into the floor, and cry, "Jesus, Father, Abba, what do you want with me? I don't know what to do. I don't know how to be. I see no light at the end of the tunnel. My heart feels empty and my life is without joy. What do you want with me?"

    Who hasn't felt that way sometimes? It seems that suffering is part of the human condition. No one can escape moments of desolation to mind, body and spirit.

    I look at the world today - ethnic violence in Kyryzstan, oil spill in the Gulf, execution of a Utah man by firing squad - and I must admit a brutal truth, suffering is everywhere. Does that mean God is absent or has in some way failed? NO. God is Present, as Jesus was present with the demon possessed man, present in the very midst of our suffering. In order to recognize God's presence we must stop pleading and crying and struggling against our situation (our metaphorical chains and shackles). We must stop thrashing about and be still. When we finally give up and lie prostrate on the ground we just might hear the whisper of God's still small voice in the heart of our despair.