SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 19TH JUNE 2022

Tell How Much Jesus Has Done For You – U of T St.George Bible Fellowship

OPENING SENTENCE
All the ends of the earth shall bow before him.

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Dougie Byers

COLLECT

O Lord Jesus Christ,

in your mercy hear our prayers:

and as you give us the desire to pray,

grant us your help and protection;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING
1 Kings 19:1-15a read by Peter Boreham

Elijah Flees from Jezebel

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

Despondent Prophet, Persistent God – 1 Kings 19:1-18 – Pastor Mandi

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. He ate and drank and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.” He got up and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave and spent the night there.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”

Elijah Meets God at Horeb

That still, SMALL VOICE down there on the inside. That's where all  believers are led in their personal lives by th… | Spirit of truth, 1 kings,  Presence of the lord

He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind, and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts, for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on

your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.

SECOND READING
Galatians 3: 23-29 read by Kate Lidwell

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore, the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be reckoned as righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

Galatians 3:23–29 (NLT) - "Before the way of faith in Christ was available  to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective  custody, so to speak,..." -

There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING
Luke 8: 26-39 read by Rev Chris Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Luke chapter 8 beginning at verse 26

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac

Then they arrived at the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on shore, a man from the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had not worn any clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, shouting, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me,” for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.

Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding, and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So, he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd stampeded down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they became frightened. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then the whole throng of people of the surrounding region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, for they were seized with great fear. So, he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So, he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

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Jesus is in the business of disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed. Today our scripture readings look at two disturbed people, who need to be comforted. We have Elijah the prophet and the Gerasene demoniac. Whilst their circumstances are completely different, they share similar feelings of abandonment, aloneness, inner chaos and hopelessness. Both are in desperate places of darkness and need rescuing.

Elijah has just had a dramatic and successful encounter with 450 prophets of Baal. After this highly charged and emotionally draining event, Elijah flees out of fear for his life from Queen Jezebel. In our scripture reading we find him exhausted, irrational and broken- spirited. He says: “I have had enough.” “Take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.” When we are at the end of our rope, we tend to lose perspective and not see things clearly. This is precisely what happened to Elijah. Elijah feels he is a failure. He is full of self-pity and feels that he has nothing more to give, so he wants his life to end.

Who Was Elijah in the Bible? Meet God's Prophet of Fire - David Jeremiah  Blog

What is wonderful is God’s pastoral heart and pastoral care of Elijah. At no point does God question the legitimacy of Elijah’s feelings, nor is there any rebuke or instructions given. What God does, is simply allow him to rest physically and ensure that he is fed and watered by an angel. This pattern of rest and nurture continues for a few days, until Elijah is more in his right mind and ready to confront his actual situation. Only at this point does God have a tête-à-tête with Elijah and coax out of Elijah the root cause of his pain. His pain is rooted in low esteem and self -worth, which arises from his aloneness in his ministry and the lack of camaraderie with fellow prophets. God points out the bigger picture to him and reassures him that there are thousands of prophets out there who are not bending the knee to Baal. God by questioning Elijah and asking him “Why are you here?” encourages Elijah to reflect on his current situation and leads him gradually to a renewed perspective.

Often when we are in a dark place, we need people to help us see the bigger picture and shift our perspective. Before that can happen, we need time out, to rest, recover and renew our strength. The importance of rest and nurture cannot be overstated. I think Elijah was burnt out. Burnout can affect anyone of us at any time and many are experiencing burnout after coping with the trauma of the pandemic. They are mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally exhausted. They have no energy and no desire to do anything- they “have had enough”. We need to journey with them and provide good pastoral care and nurture, until the individual is strong enough to look reflectively at their situation and be guided in their next steps.

Elijah received such guidance. God heard Elijah’s pleas and concerns and surprises Elijah with a new commission and with a new companion and apprentice in Elisha. This was a joy for Elijah and he went forth with renewed vision and vigour. God brought him comfort in his darkness and shed light upon his path.

Light was also shed on the path of the demoniac. I am not at all sure why he ended in the tombs. The tombs themselves are real but they also have a symbolic significance. They speak of the deadness of his life and the deep darkness in which he is currently living. His story is significant for it appears in all Synoptic gospels. It is a story of freedom, hope and light.

We are told that the demoniac is in a bad way. In Mark’s gospel he describes the demoniac in some detail. He lived among the tombs and “no-one could secure him anymore, even with a chain.” There is wild fury within the man that no fetters can constrain. “He had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him.” The fury is turned in on the man himself.” All night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones. The conflict within is destroying him.

Finding Hope Luke 8 26 39 Finding Hope

I suppose someone must have brought him food. Maybe he trusted certain people to do so or perhaps they simply left the food at a safe distance. You wonder if he had moments of lucidity and being in his right mind. Like so many suffering with mental illness or demon possession, did he have periods where he was seemingly balanced, functioning, with clear thoughts?  And if so, did his friends or family interact with him during those times?  Did he suffer from depression, suicide, chemical imbalances that deprived him of a normal healthy life?

Certainly, his life was complex. When he sees Jesus, he runs up and shouts “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear by God, that you will not torture me.” There are two movements within the man, one of attraction for Jesus, the other of repulsion and in the presence of Jesus both movements are evoked. “What is your name? Jesus asks. With great insight the man replies “My name is Legion, for there are many of us.” This man is possessed by evil spirits, which Jesus drives out of him, and the scene ends with the man in his right senses, fully clothed, sitting with Jesus and begging him to be allowed to follow him. We may or may not believe in demonic possession, but whatever our views are, it is worth pondering, and trying to see our inner lives in this story.

Luke 8:26-39 – St. Mark's Lutheran

For which one of us has not at some time known what it is like “to live among the tombs” for instance those times when our lives go dead and what once caused pleasure and delight now leaves us unmoved, so that we live in a state of apathy and listlessness. Do we comprehend the concept of “howling and gashing ourselves for example with bitterness and resentment at what others have done to us, or what we have done to ourselves, the agony of feeling unforgiven or of refusing to forgive? Maybe we have felt like Legion. We can be so different from day to day, and even within the same day, one minute full of sweetness and like and then the next glowering, unreasonable and a pain in the neck to ourselves and to others. No doubt we recognise in ourselves that double movement of rushing up to Jesus on the one hand and begging him to depart on the other.

If we really could see into the depths of ourselves and into our subconscious and unconscious minds, we would recognise some of the characteristics of the demoniac. This might frighten us, for it reminds us of the inner chaos within that might cause us at times to act irrationally and irresponsibly. Failing to look within ourselves can often result in our projecting our inner chaos on to other people. What is preferable is to look within and then like the Gerasene demoniac take ourselves to Christ and show him the mess we are in, and allow him to rid us of our anger, bitterness, hate and anxiety. To let Christ free us and heal us, not forgetting that when we plummet the depths of our being, whilst there will be inevitable chaos, there will also be an incredible potential for greatness and good.

Dealing with Demons

I suppose we have a double movement too in coming to Jesus for we are attracted by his holiness but we are repulsed by him because of our sinfulness. However, Christ shows the demoniac a wonderful pastoral heart. Jesus has initially come to this region to get away from the crowd, to spend some quiet time with his disciples and rest. Yet when confronted by this demoniac he is not distant and unwilling to help, but on the contrary reaches out where others might fear to tread. He shows compassion and love for this demoniac. He touches him, which would render a Jewish person unclean. Jesus is unperturbed by these matters of cleanliness, what matters to him is the pain and distress of this demoniac. He is deeply troubled and Jesus longs to give him comfort and peace. His power and love set this demoniac free. For the demoniac, it is important that he sees the demons go away and maybe that is in part, why the demons enter the pigs. Whilst it is an economic hardship for the Gentile people, nonetheless it demonstrates the worth of any human life. So when our life is chaotic and we are disturbed, we must come with whatever apprehensions and fears we have to Jesus who will in turn give us comfort, peace and newness of life.

I think it was Socrates you said “an unexamined life is not worth living”… so it is important from time to time to plummet the depths of our inner being and bring what we find there to God, knowing that he loves us unconditionally; that he cares deeply for us and that he longs to loose us from the chains that bind and set us free. Free to worship, and serve him like the demoniac and Elijah were called to do with renewed vision and vitality. Amen.

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

Lord Jesus, crowds flocked to see you.

In you they saw love, kindness and goodness.

Help us as members of your family

to reflect these great qualities,

to delight in your teaching and to do your will.

As members of your church

may we work well together with our neighbours,

share resources, respect each other and learn from one another.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries - The Scottish Episcopal Church

Lord Jesus, you were confident

in your God- given purposes and role.

Help us to be confident in our purpose and role

and to be distinctive in our communities

by our love and kindness.

Stand alongside leaders and elected representatives

as they grapple with complex issues

and a difficult social and economic climate.

Keep before us all a vision

of your Kingdom’s values and priorities

and guide us through challenging times

and the midst of uncertainty.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

Friend of God – What does it mean? | Seasons of Refreshing

Lord Jesus, you call servants of your will not just friends

but members of your family.

Look in compassion on all

who are suffering in your family

from illness, stress, depression, injury and weakness.

In the quiet we name to you those who are suffering

in body, mind and spirit, that are known to us.

Draw near to them and touch them at their point of need

with your inner strength, peace, hope and healing.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

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Lord Jesus, thank you for the love

what works so well

in the community of the Godhead.

We thank you for the gift of family

and for the love we have received.

On this Father’s Day,

we thank you for fathers,

for the importance they play

in modelling your love to their children.

Bless them today

and guide them with wisdom and grace

in their role as parent.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

Lord Jesus, we thank you for the fellowship

and significance of church families.

Guard our love and keep us in unity,

working harmoniously

for the furthering of your kingdom.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

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Lord Jesus be with all today who are despairing,

accompany them in their darkness,

give them rest and nurture

and gradually restore them

with renewed purpose and energy.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

Songs for Our Spirit: Peace & Comfort : Free Download, Borrow, and  Streaming : Internet Archive

Lord Jesus, you promise to watch over

your family’s coming and going.

We lift to you those, whose lives are ebbing away

and are soon coming home.

Be with them on their journey home

and comfort their family and friends.

Lord of all wisdom,

let your will be done.

Lord Jesus, we marvel at your wisdom and patience

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in dealing with people

May we let your wisdom and patience

guide us in our dealings with others.

Thank you for all your friendship and companionship

and for all the gifts you daily give us.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

BLESSING

God the Holy Trinity

make you strong in faith and love,

defend you on every side,

and guide you in truth and peace;

and the blessing of God almighty,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ