Summary: A sermon for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 7C Lectionary 12 The story about Legion, the swine and the cured man
4th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 7 C
"Fear and Surrender"
"Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And as he stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes, and he lived not in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me." For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them leave. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and 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. And those who had seen it told them how he who had been possessed with demons was healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from 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 he sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him." Luke 8:26-39, RSV.
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Fear is all around us. We can become frighten by what we see on television. We can have our own inner fears. People can be afraid of the water, Hydrophobia is fear of "water." Nyclophobia is the fear of "darkness." Acrophobia is fear of "high places." Taxophobia is fear of being "buried alive." Xenophobia is fear of "strangers." Necrophobia is fear of the "dead." Claustrophobia is fear of "confined places." I have a fear of dogs. When I first came home from the hospital when I had polio, and was learning to walk again, a dog knocked me down when I was outside. I guess, I couldn’t get up by myself, so the dog just stood over me until help arrived. From this day, I am afraid of dogs, dogs of all sizes.
Our gospel lesson is about fear. The fear the people had of the man with the unclean Spirit, named Legion. The spirit Legion had a fear of being cast out into the abyss. The herdsmen and the town people we afraid of Jesus after he cast out the demons as the swine went into the river.