Small Church January 28, 2024

Conversation Guide for January 28, 2024

The “Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac”

Becoming Present to God

While lighting a candle to remind you of God’s Presence, have someone read the candle prayer:

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You have called us out of darkness into light.
Open our eyes to your presence,
Open our ears to your call,
Open our hearts to your love.


Spend some time thanking God for the day, for what comes to mind in gratitude in your life and in the world. Notice what is around you, what you see, and hear – offer up thanksgiving.

Becoming Present to One Another

Share with each other: 

  • How has the new year been so far?
  • How do you think people generally feel at this time of year?
  • What are some of the positive feelings?
  • What are some of the negative feelings?
In Conversation with the Word
Read Mark 2:1-3:6

Watch the video:

Conversation Questions

  1. What are your first impressions?
  2. What do you note about the circumstances in the story?
    The setting, the man, the apparent social and religious norms of the day.
  3. What have you been taught about how to interpret stories of demonic possession in the Bible?
  4. How has your thinking around the construct of “Good vs. Evil” changed?
  5. Is it fair to say that what was labelled as demonic possession then can now be understood as having to do with mental health and illness? In your mind does this explain ALL such matters and conditions?
  6. What do we gain if we make such shifts in understanding? What do we lose?
  7. How is the nature of the man’s illness not the most important question in this story?
  8. How does trying to figure all of this out actually distract from what Jesus is doing, from who Jesus is and from how Jesus relates to that which we deem as beyond our understanding or capability?
  9. How can we begin to see that the fact that Jesus goes to this place and to this man (both were seen a damned and God-forsaken) is the KEY part of the story?
  10. How might this truth impact how we see things today?
  11. What does it mean that Jesus is unafraid of our “madness”? What does it mean that he does not abandon us, even in the most terrible places of mind and spirit?
  12. What do you make of the part of the story about the pigs? The scene itself, Jesus willingness to heal in this way, the reaction of the people?
  13. Finally, why do you think Jesus told this man to stay with his own people?
Prayer and Blessing

If time allows, perhaps pray about matters of mental health, stigma, and fear.

Close with someone reading the blessing over you all as the candle is blown out.

May the Father of many resting places grant you rest;
May the Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm;
May the Spirit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light,
God’s love be your love,
God’s way be your way.