As I write, the hopes and dreams of peoples and nations are held in the hand of an electorate, as also the sports arena sees a procession of winners and losers.
Who ultimately will be the victor though may be a matter of debate and even take years to be seen, as our global village struggles, in an age of biblical challenge, pandemic, climate change and displaced persons, to understand such cross-generational biblical questioning, as from the defensive plea of Genesis, "Am I my brother's keeper"?, to the teaching of the Gospels, "Who is my neighbour", to Jesus' own recognition of the hour before him in his first miraculous act, "What concern is that to you and me, my hour is not yet come".
Well for Christians our concern is modelled on the Acts of Jesus Saviour, our Christ, who chose to make the hour of our need, his hour, sharing our joys and sorrows, ultimately sharing our mortality, giving his life to save his followers and his nation. As they struggled to understand what he had done for them, they understood his Word lived on in their deeds, the Acts of the Apostles, as today, the Acts of Christian peoples throughout the world revealing Christ's continuing presence, his risen life, amidst our hours and days.
Among Jesus' many encounters is that of the hour he met the Gerasene demonic, a man out of his mind, beset by illness and ostracized by society. The Gospel story mirrors his fate with that of the Judaic peoples of his day, occupied by Rome's Legions, for the Gerasene is held captive in chains and himself occupied by a legion of demons. His violence imprisoned him and society placed guards against his entry for protection. Jesus liberated him from the possession of these legions, sending them to their end via a herd of unclean swine, livestock of the Roman occupation. No wonder the reaction of the Gerasene people's was one of fear, sending Jesus and his followers back from their shores. The healed Gerasene, now in his right mind, wanted to follow Jesus after his own liberation across the waters to this hoped for sovereign Judea, but Jesus asked him to stay amidst the Decapolis, the ten cities of Rome's federal state, and "declare how much God has done for you".
So are we called today to speak of the good we see, to offer release to those who look for liberty, and to make the hour of their need our own. In this is ultimately our victory, that our shores should offer hope and freedom from fear, that our lands, our global village should know the good as that righteousness of God's Kingdom come.
Yours in Christ,
Rev'd Brin Singleton