The Collect: O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
The Response: Psalm 42:1-15; 43:1-6 was led by David Maitland. *(verse 7) “Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God.”
The First Reading 1 Kings 19:1-4, 8-15 was read by Arthur Clark. Elijah is distressed after discovering that Ahab had killed all the prophets, though he had escaped. Elijah hid in a cave for fear of his life, but God finally spoke to him and told him to return to Damascus. There he would anoint a new king, Aram.
The Second Reading, Galatians 3:23-29, was read by John Greve. Paul reminds the people that before Christ came, they were ruled by the Law. Now, Jesus had given them a new covenant and they would be justified by their faith in him. Baptized in Christ we are now children of God. It does not matter what nationality or race you are, for God loves and accepts everyone who believes. All of us are one in Christ.
Reverend Riggins read the gospel of Luke 8:26-39. While journeying to Gerasenes, Jesus met a man who was possessed of demons. Jesus commanded the unclean spirits to come out of the man, but the spirits pleaded not to return to Satan. Jesus had the demons enter a herd of swine and then the hogs ran into the lake and drowned. The man was then clothed and was sane once more. He wanted to follow Jesus in his journeys, but Jesus bade him stay in his home town and witness there. The people who witnessed this event became afraid of Jesus and what might happen, so they asked him to leave.
Reverend Riggins told how amazed people were when Jesus would heal someone of evil spirits. It is easy to be overcome with fear when you see such a drastic change in someone. The man changed from a raving maniac, uncontrollable, and naked to a sane person and showing love to God. His name had been Legion, which means many and is also the name of a large group of soldiers. People were accustomed to being controlled by soldiers in those days. This was a real man suffering real pain. He had lost his entire identity to these demons and was not fit to live in a community with others.
Next Sunday is a Fifth Sunday and there will not be a priest to preside at the service. We will have a Morning Prayer service and then have a brunch in the parish hall. We invite others to feel free to join us in our worship and fellowship.