This morning’s sermon – posted before preached!
The townspeople knew all about this man. At one time he probably lived among them.Very likely he grew up as a boy and young man in their town. But over time they began to see something change in him. Perhaps they saw it all coming over months and years – they probably agonized over his decline – perhaps they struggled with what they could do to help him or his family. But he slipped slowly out of the community, onto the periphery of society
The one who was once a boy in their town now lives among the tombs – out in the wilderness – on the outer margins of human community – alienated and alone. He is a picture of inhumanity. He is a picture of life at the bottom of a terrible downward spiral.
It’s not like the townspeople had given up on him even now. Sometimes they tried to restrain him, for his own good. And from time to time they succeeded, but no more. Now when they bound him he would tear apart the bonds. Now he represents how far a person can fall from a life that is good and fulfilled.
One of the heartbreaking details of this story is that this man has no name – or seems to have lost his name. He is called Legion. But that, of course, is not his name. That is a name imposed upon him. That name Legion represents the destructive power that has him in its grip. He has lost his identity. He is not himself. Continue reading