ST. MAXENTIUS WORSHIP AT HOME – Sunday 19th June – Trinity 1


Good morning to you and I hope you are all well. Today we move into the season after Pentecost and into the long season of Trinity, green until advent except for Saints days and festivals. Today’s gospel looks at the man Legion who was possessed by demons and the New Testament reading is Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

Our intercessions today are by Alison Greaves and the reflection is by Rev Hannah, many thanks to them both.

Jan B.


Loving God, we have come to worship you.

Help us to pray to you in faith, to sing your praise with gratitude and to read to your word with eagerness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with all of our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you, our god. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers

and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in the keeping of your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



GALATIANS 3. 23-29

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. Glory to you O Lord.

LUKE 8. 26-39

Then they 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.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.


Today we meet someone who is in need of Jesus’ healing power, and on the surface we are able to track the path of events and see how Jesus heals the man and then continues on. There are some elements that provide interest to the story, but on the whole, it could be seen as quite a simple tale. Sadly, the Gospels are rarely so neat and comfortable. What we hear from Luke today is filled with symbolism and underlying information that isn’t always apparent on the first pass. In this passage there is much to explore, but I will concentrate on three points that we can find within the text that tell us much more besides the story itself…

Firstly, the geographical location in which this takes place is not a Jewish area. How do we know? The Jewish people thought that pigs were an unclean animal. They didn’t farm pigs and anyone who spent time near them was deemed to be unclean. It certainly wasn’t the sort of place you’d expect to find  a Jewish teacher. Jesus was out of place in this location. We hear how the people asked Jesus to leave, they were fearful of him. Jesus must have represented something incredibly unfamiliar to them, so much so that they didn’t want him around any longer than necessary.

Secondly the use of the word ‘legion’. This is an interesting literary device that is being employed here. One might firstly assume that the word is chosen to indicate that there was more than one demon, after all that is what we are told! However, some scholars believe that the word legion was chosen specifically at this point to give an extra depth to what we hear. Written during a time of Roman oppression, the word legion gives rise to thoughts of occupying forces, the kind of forces that could be the cause of trauma and subsequent issues that we today would recognise as mental challenges. To find someone suffering in such a way due to the trauma caused by actions of occupying or invasive armed forces becomes much less surprising when we consider it in terms such as this.

Finally, Jesus’ order for the man to return home and tell others about his healing. As previously mentioned with the pigs, anything deemed to be ‘unclean’ was removed from the community. It is a logic that is demonstrated similarly in our idea of quarantine today (or self isolation as we now call it!). A lack of understanding about the transmissibility of certain conditions has historically led to isolation. In this instance, the man was removed from his community in order to preserve the others. Upon being healed he asks Jesus if he might follow him but Jesus refuses and instead sends the man back to his community to spread the word about his healing. Jesus identifies that it is better for the community to hear the story of the man and for him to be able to be a fruitful witness by returning to his home. Here was a community that needed to see the works of the Lord and this man was able to serve Jesus by acting as a witness to his healing power.

Being able to spend time with a gospel passage is always fruitful. This is one that has much to teach us and by following any of the threads above deeper we could find ourselves opening up a whole host of other information and symbolism. But for now, I believe that in just taking a little more time over it and identifying these things, we’ve made a good start. I wonder what we’ll discover next time we read it?

Rev Hannah


I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.


During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme

Everlasting God, we thank you for the Good News we have been given –

help us to remember that it is not just for us, but to pass on to the rest of the world.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Creator God, we pray for all who have influence and authority, through their political standing, fame or wealth –

speak into their hearts of righteousness and justice, integrity and compassion.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We pray for all bishops, priests and deacons and for all who hold positions of authority in your Church. Guide, we pray, the thoughts and words of all your servants entrusted with the care of your people. May compassion and love rule in their hearts and show in their lives. May they reach out with your arms to the world and bring comfort to your people.

We ask for your prayers especially for the clergy in our Turton team and ensure our Curate Hannah of our thoughts and prayers as  she prepares for her priesting on July 2nd and her first Eucharistic celebration here on July 3rd.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

Christ of the Pilgrim Path, you recognise our many gifts even when we do not see them ourselves. We thank you for the resumption in our Church here of worship and activities and we look forward, with confidence , and hope , to be celebrating 150 years of continuity with positivity – following centuries of worship and community on this site in Bradshaw.

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We remember those who are abused and live in fear and shame. We remember those throughout the world for whom there is no food and those who are dying of hunger. We think of those who are ill, those known to us or unknown and especially Joyce Davies

 Lord in your mercy – hear our prayer.

We remember those whose earthly life has ended and those grieving for loved ones.

Enfold them in your love and let them become aware of you beside them.

From our book of remembrance we remember Alan Hilton, Kathleen Fraser, Herbert Joseph Dickenson, Margaret Dodd, Thomas Greenhalgh and Alice Anderton.

Holy Spirit give us faith,

Holy Spirit give us hope,

Holy Spirit give us love,

Revive your work in this world beginning with us.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

Our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.


May God keep us in all our days, May Christ shield us in all our ways. May the Spirit bring us healing and peace. May God the Trinity drive all darkness from us and pour upon us blessing and light.

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