St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Midweek Devotion 24th June 2021
Led by Rev Calum I MacLeod
Let us worship God
The lesson is Matthew 8: 26-34
28 When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29Suddenly they shouted, ‘What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’30Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them.31The demons begged him, ‘If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.’ 32And he said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and perished in the water. 33The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. 34Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.
The word of the Lord; thanks be to God
What do you mean “they begged him to leave the neighborhood?” Didn’t they realize who they were talking to? I mean this was Jesus, for goodness sake. Who did they think they were, these Gadarenes, or Gergesenes, or Gerasenes, or whatever they called themselves in that God-forsaken place across the water? I mean, you don’t just go up to the Son of God and tell him to ‘get lost.’ If you ask me that’s just playing with fire. And anyway, he’d just healed those two nutters that everyone was scared of. What with all their noise and screaming and threatening innocent people who were just paying respects to their dear departed. He did those folks a favor and that’s the thanks he gets in return?
‘Leave the neighborhood” indeed. I reckon they should have been asking him to stay around for a bit longer so he could sort out some of the other dodgy characters that found themselves having to live there, on the other side of the tracks.
OK, OK, I’ll concede that one point – why did he have to cause such a rumpus with the pigs? I mean, it just doesn’t make sense. You know, he’s arrived, he’s done the healing, now surely it’s time to go for dinner (he’s always finds someone whose house he can go to for dinner!) But no, not this time. He has to go and upset things; those pigs went, like, berserk and next thing you knew they were in the drink. They belonged to someone those pigs, you know; property, to be sold to feed the Romans; worth a fortune and now nothing; just a massive, like, ham soup.
Maybe they were right after all, those Kerosenes (or whatever they’re called) – he just upsets everything when he’s in the neighborhood!
Let us pray.
What is wrong you forgive
and the new life you live
is what’s turning
the world upside down.
Inspire us to live compassion in the face of meekness,
wholeness in the place of suffering,
life in the face of bereavement,
love in the face of fear.
O Lord hear our prayers for ourselves and others as we join together in the Lord’s Prayer:
which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever,
Be of good courage, render no-one evil for evil,
but hold fast to the good; honour all of God’s people,
and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the Communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you
and all whom you love
this day and for ever.
Léon Boëllmann Prière à Notre-Dame (Suite Gothique)