June 19th

The Bangor on Dee Group      Notices June 19th 2022 Trinity 1, Covenant Sunday

Today                        9.45                Morning Prayer Marchwiel

11.00              Eucharist Bangor,

Tuesday                   10-12              Marchwiel Coffee Morning

19.00              Visitation Bronington

Wednesday              14.00              Prayer Group Marchwiel

18.00-18.30   Keep fit with Marcus in Bangor Church

19.30              Bangor Church Committee

Saturday                   10.00              Michaels Ordination in the Cathedral

.2nd Sunday after Trinity  

11.00              Group Eucharist Bangor

16.00              Bangor Strawberry Tea, 4pm at Deeside. Tickets available £8

 

Tuesday The Archdeacon’s Visitation 7pm at Bronington. All churchwardens need to sign the declaration. MAC and Church Committee members warmly invited to attend.

 

Bible notes Luke 8:26-39
Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee into Gentile territory, where he meets a man ostracised by his own community. This strange story is a heady mix of fear, destruction and renewal. Perhaps we should start at the end, with the man delivered from his living death. Once uncontrollable, noisy and naked, he is now at peace, ‘sitting at the feet of Jesus’ like a true disciple, ‘clothed and in his right mind’. What has brought this about?

That depends on whose story we hear. The swineherds tell of destruction and destitution: the man shouting as he and his demons argued with Jesus, terrifying their pigs into throwing themselves off the cliffs into the lake, where they drowned. Not surprisingly they dismiss Jesus, the instigator of their ruin. The man has a different tale to tell, now that he’s been freed from the forces that invaded his life when a legion of Roman soldiers occupied his town. Jesus’ disciples have passed on a tale of pigs as acceptable collateral damage in their world: unclean spirits driven to possess what Jews regarded as unclean animals, a sign that healing damaged lives and a divided world is rarely straightforward and cost-free. Today we might say that the man had been traumatised by military occupation, his psychosomatic condition evidence of the way social problems become visible on the body (see Suzanne O’Sullivan, The Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness, Picador 2021).

However the story is told, the significance of its beginning and ending is clear enough. Jesus is willing to cross every imaginable boundary – geographical, racial, cultural, spiritual –to enter a damaged and divided world and heal one of its most vulnerable victims. If the liberating God is to be credited with the man’s release, he alone will be able to convince his community that his inside-and-outside healing will only be complete when they finally welcome him home.

 

Reflection

We know very little about the man whom Jesus healed. We are given a picture of before and after and it is quite a contrast. We do not have an in-depth explanation as to why he behaved in the way he did. That may well be the case with people we encounter in contemporary society who have mental health issues. We may experience their impact but have no understanding of their context. Jesus did not judge. He simply got alongside the man, and through his caring the man’s life was transformed. He was healed. Jesus did not wait to be asked. He instinctively knew what was needed and reacted accordingly.