Delivered from Demons, Now Return Home and Love!
Before the sermon, the Gospel had been read, and the heard again as our special guest Bob Bennett sang the song at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JIzudCJZAE I would ask you listen, as it frames the sermon well…
The Simple Christian Life – Love Hope Faith!
Delivered – So Return Home and Love!
† I.H.S. †
May the grace, that mercy and peace that comes from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the grace which delivered you from the power of demons, be the hope you share with those you dwell among!
It bothers me….
Even as I love the story of this man being delivered from the power of demons, there is something that bothers me about this story.
No, it is not the destruction of several tons of bacon.
I mean it’s not like it would have lasted two thousand years anyway.
There is something ominous that hovers in the background of the story, that even as we celebrate one man being healed, being redeemed, being freed from thousands of demons, there is something that is frightening going on.
The reaction of the town, the community that is so paralyzed by anxiety, that they drive off the hope that is in their midst. Unlike other towns, they turn down the chance for Jesus to be in their midst, healing, teaching, the Lord God dwelling in their midst…
Living in the presence of God, that is the simple Christian life, a life full of love, hope, and faith. So why would they beg Jesus to leave?
What were their issues? Why would anyone want to reject the hope of the man of the tombs knew?
To quote Bob’s song
Underneath this thing that I once was
Now I’m a man of flesh and blood
I have a life beyond the grave
I found my heart; I can now be saved
No need to fear, I am not afraid
This Man of Sorrows took my pain
He comes to take away our sin
And bear it’s marks upon His skin
I’m telling you this story because
Man of the tombs I was
Why would they reject this for themselves?
Or the harder question to face, have you and I rejected this hope? Have we driven tried to drive Christ away? Or worse, do we ignore His presence in our lives?
Why do we avoid Jesus?
I’ve heard a lot of guesses about why this group of people begged Jesus to leave them alone, and all are really conjecture. I’ve also heard some reasons people have given me over the years. Some are more about why they want to avoid the church, because of bruises and wounds that we’ve inflicted on each other. Or they are afraid of the time commitment it will make in their life, a life already complicated and overloaded.
Others are more considered because of the idea that their lives will change. That in order to change, they will have to deal with the pains of the past, the guilt, and shame. Or that Jesus might confront them over something sinful and broken in their lives today.
That’s scary. Maybe we aren’t wandering among the tombs, yelling and screaming, but to let Jesus come to us and work in our lives? Remember – that is what Jesus told the man to share, what did Jesus do?
The man was naked, he had no home, no place to belong, he was the kind of guy that Jesus said the sheep who were welcome into the kingdom, because they helped him.
But what was it about the community that Jesus needed to address?
We say we know we need Jesus, but for what reason? For most of us, it isn’t as easily seen as it as in the case of the man Jesus met. Even so, it is there, some of us buried deep.
Don’t run! This time, don’t try to avoid Him! Come and ask, trusting in His nature, knowing He will deliver you!.
Don’t send Jesus away, don’t beg him to leave. Let the Spirit come to you…
and bring you the relief and peace you need.
He’s come to us; He heals us…
For that is what Jesus does,
You see, the beach where he directed the disciples for, he came to those people, there is no other reason for a Jewish Rabbi to come to this place, but to meet people where they are at.
To come to free a man from thousands of demons, to bring peace to a village that only new fear, and now in their anxiety, sent Jesus away.
A Second Chance?
You need to know, that Jesus doesn’t quite accept their rejection.
For after they beg him to leave, he gives them a pastor, a prophet in their midst. The man who was the possessed by the demon, which begs Jesus to come with him, is now sent to them to preach. To announce salvation, to explain everything God has crafted, the poem God made out of his life.
A miracle they couldn’t deny, a life so dramatically changed that people notice. A man tortured by the life he knew, freed now and so incredibly at peace. Who lives in their midst, forgiven, saved, healed, and a testimony to the work of God, and that fact that God comes to us. God hasn’t given up on them, any more than he gave up on the man with thousands upon thousands of demons. He will come to them as he abides with this man…
That’s what the cross is all about, where Christ died to forgive us and to make us holy as we dwell in Him.
That is what this moment is about, as Christ comes to you, and saves you from the burdens that haunt you, from the life’s anxieties, from the pain you’ve endured, and even the pain you’ve caused.
For He has promised this, that you will know the serenity, both now and for all eternity. For Christ has come to ensure you of that peace, and He shall keep your heart and mind safe in that peace.
After the sermon, Bob helped us focus on the hope we have in Christ by singing this song,,, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X46ayH7Io4c
Posted on June 20, 2016, in Devotions, semons and tagged Abiding in Christ, apostolate, bacon, Concordia Lutheran Church, deliverance., Demons, Jesus, love, Ministry. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.