Sunday 23rd am service Reverend A Lewis BA. Cert Div.
From the Fictional World of DISENTANGLED http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55AaFIJH27c
THE MIRACLES Legion and the Gaderene Swine
Good morning. Today I want to ask you this question. What are you afraid of? Everyone is afraid of something. Anyone like a good horror movie? A thriller? Even as children we enjoy those stories with wolves that might gobble us up, giants that might eat us whole, wicked old women who live in gingerbread houses. But what are our real fears, our real deep seated worries?
As we come closer to
with Jesus and his disciples he
finds himself the only one on board the ship who could relax. His disciples,
committed as they were, panicked. Let us read briefly from Luke’s gospel Chapter
8 vs. 23: Jerusalem
 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Well he was about to show what manner of man he was. They had already seen the miracles he performed and the miracles we’ve studied during the past weeks hear at River Chapel. If you’re new to the church, don’t worry, you’ll soon pick up the story. Each episode stands alone! Let us now read what happened when they landed.
 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against
A sad man indeed. What were these devils which he was possessed with? We don’t tend to talk in terms of devils these days do we? But they are abroad nevertheless. They are the kind of afflictions that we all have within us. Our disabilities, our ‘isms’. We can’t all see, or hear or read as well as we might like to. Some of us have all manner of things that blight us. In the modern world we call them ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia; Behavioural Disorders of all shapes afflict our lives. They have names – tags – but make no mistake they are there for a reason. Like the storm that Jesus calmed – we need not be afraid.
 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
You see, straight away he knew who Jesus was. Do we always know when the Lord is speaking to us? I think we usually do. How did he know? Well it tells us in the very next verse:
 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)  And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
Legion. He called himself Legion because He Was Many! He was not alone in his head this sad man. Perhaps today we’d say he was afflicted with a Multiple Personality Disorder. He would have been cast out from his community because, in those days, people would not have understood his plight. How many of us here today fail to see the plight in others. We accuse them, we blame them for their wrong-doing but we fail to see the wrong in ourselves. But what did he, Legion, do? He was frightened to lose that part of himself that he had grown used to. The part of him that was many. He’d grown accustomed to his affliction. It was part of him and he was loathe to let it go. Let us read on, vs. 31:
 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.  Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.  When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.  Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.  They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.  Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.  Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,  Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
I was tempted to ask farmer Bowlby to bring in his pigs for this particular service but… Where I grew up I had a friend called Stringy Billy. Now Stringy Billy was trapped, a little like Legion, but Jesus, through his bountiful grace was able to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A_NruH3eJE