Worship Service – June 19, 2022

Father’s Day

Scriptures; Galatians 3:26-29, John 3:1-8 and Luke 8:26-39

Message; “Passing on a Legacy”

Galatians 3:26-29

(26) You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, (27) for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, heirs according to the promise.

John 3:1-8

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

(1)Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. (2) He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
(3) In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
(4) “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
(5) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. (6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (7) You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Luke 8:26-39

The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

(26) They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. (27) When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. (28) When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” (29) For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
(30) Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” (31) “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
(32) A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. (33) When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
(34) When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, (35) and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. (36) Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. (37) Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
(38) The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, (39) “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

To all of you dads out there, I’d like to wish you a,”Happy Father’s Day”. And in my message today I encourage you to let the love of God, the Father of us all guide you in life before, “Passing on a Legacy.”
How many of you are proud of your heritage? The legacy that was passed on to you from your heritage? I had an aunt who used to tell me that I came from a long line of horse thieves. A grandfather that was known as the community drunk. And I am definitely not proud of those facts. But because of the love of God I had parents that came to know Christ as their Savior and their decision changed the legacy passed on to me.
The lectionary for this week calls for the reading of, “The Healing of a Demon- possessed Man”, but that’s kind of a weird passage for Father’s Day don’t you think? But then I got to thinking about all the families in trouble. And most of the families that are in trouble today are in trouble because one or more of the parents were or now are being held captive by their demons, the chains of their past.
Fathers have it tough today. Parents have it tough but this is Father’s Day so let’s talk about Fathers. All fathers know that they will pass on their legacy to their children. And that every one of us, men and women, young and old alike live with that Legacy.
So what is a Legacy? According to Webster’s dictionary, Legacy is defined as: : a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property 
: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past 
: that which is, related to, associated with, or carried over from an earlier time,
Unfortunately, you can’t choose the Legacy you have to live with. It’s given to you by those who have gone before you, by those who raised you and influenced your life. Some of us live with a “Legacy” that has set us free and empowered us. Some of us live with a Legacy that is more like chains which bind us. And struggle as we might, we’ve never been able to break those chains.
In addition to this weeks gospel reading from the lectionary, God laided on my heart also the gospel of John 3:1-8. The account of Nicodemus. Probably because, in the two gospel accounts we read today, Nicodemus and the Demon Possessed Man, they have one thing in common. They are looking to pass on a better legacy. To free them from the chains that bind them. Their demons.
Let’s begin. In Luke 8:26-39, the account of “The Healing of a Demon- possessed Man”, it’s built around the sensitivities of Jewish piety. We need to understand that, pigs were the personification of uncleanness. And were easily associated with Gentile uncleanness. Tombs were also a source of uncleanness, and in Jewish areas they were whitewashed so that one might not come in contact with a tomb accidentally. And that a man with no clothes on would be an outcast since nakedness was shameful. Also we know that a leper or demon possessed person should cry out,”Unclean! Unclean!” when others approach them.
No question, modern ears have trouble hearing this story. We would understand it better if the poor man in the graveyard were simply described as mentally ill.
We’re not comfortable in either giving credit or blame for the events of our lives to unseen beings. We would rather understand the story as one more example of Jesus’ deep compassion for hurting individuals and an affirmation of his marvelous power to heal even when our afflictions are more than one. A”Legion.” But that would misunderstand the story. This one is about more than healing; this one is about confronting evil – in the language of first century theology, it’s about Demons. The chains that bind us.
Demons surround us. The only thing is, you and I can’t see them. There’s no badge or button that pops up, or people crying, “Unclean! Unclean!“. Most of us don’t run around naked or live in the cemetery. But that doesn’t mean we’re not living in chains, or wandering amongst the tombs of our past.
Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, Sexual, Physical and Oral Abuse, Divorce, premature death, bankruptcy due to loss of a job, or even abandonment. Those are just a few of the chains that bind us. Our demons. And without Jesus we past them on as a legacy.
In the account of,’The Healing of a Demon- possessed Man’, the townspeople had been content to control it by isolating it on the outskirts of their society – the graveyard – but Jesus was prepared to get rid of it all together, even though, as the story makes clear, the society at large was not ready to have that happen. He did it anyway. And the message I get from this story is one of the need to have Hope and Courage and to, as a songwriter puts it, to “Pass it on”.
We don’t call them demons today. We’d label most of the demons as mental or physical disabilities. But I believe the demons still abound. Oh, not the kind you need to exorcise with a priest, but the demons of our past, the demons that keep us from being whole, the demons that bind us and keeps us from being all that God wants us and created us to be.
These demons do the very same thing that “Legion” was doing to this man. They bind us to our past and fill us with self destructive tendencies and behavior. We think we are the problem so we continue to hurt ourselves just like we’ve always been hurt.
This Demon Possessed Man knew that he could not rid himself of these demons. But he did have the courage, the hope, the good sense, to seek out help. And he found that help in the arrival of Jesus and His Disciples. Changing the Legacy he would pass on.
In the gospel of John were told that Nicodemus had this same kind of courage, and hope. So he came secretly to Jesus at night, wanting to be free of his demons. The demons of doubt and fear. Hoping to change the legacy that he would pass on.
Being that he was a member of the Jewish ruling console, a pharisee, he was a member of a party that believed in resurrection and in following legal traditions that were described not only to scripture but also to the traditions of the fathers.
Nicodemus, was chained with doubt and fear. A legacy he didn’t want to pass on. Like many in our country today. Chained with doubt and fear of where our country is headed and the legacy that we will pass on.
Nicodemus with his demons of doubt and fear, his uncertainty of the wisdom and the responsibilities of the Pharisees to uphold the traditions of the fathers. Scriptures tell us; “He came to Jesus at night”. He secretly found Jesus in the hope’s of passing on a better legacy, ‘and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”(vs.2)
Then Jesus, knowing his demons, the chains of doubt and fear that bound Nicodemus told him the truth of what needed to happen in order for him to break those chains and pass on a legacy of hope and courage.
Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”(vs. 3) In others words, Jesus was telling him that no one can have hope unless they have the courage to except Christ as their Savior.
The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Legacy He passed on, is that God wants to bring healing and wholeness to set us free of the demons in our lives. Our demons of doubts and fears. God wants to set us free from the captivity of our past. God wants to loose the bonds. God wants to remove the chains and set us free.
Have you been “Born again”? Are you in danger of “Passing on a Legacy” of doubt and fear of sin and death?
On the cross, Jesus broke the stranglehold, that sin and death have over us. Through the cross and the empty tomb, Jesus won forgiveness for us.
He has redeemed us. He has claimed and reclaimed us as his own.
He has made us new, given us a fresh start, and given us his Holy Spirit to rid us of our demons. So that we can be “Passing on a Legacy“ of hope and courage, not doubt and fear.
I don’t know what demons are holding you today. I don’t know what Bondage you feel your life under. But I know the one who does. He’s the same one who can bring healing and set you free. You may not be able to choose the Legacy you live with, but He can help you choose the Legacy you leave.
There’s hope. Have the courage to cry out;”I want Jesus !” And be “Passing on a Legacy” of Hope and Courage.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20220619
Listen To Audio: Service 06192022
Our God who is greater than the most powerful forces in this world, enables us to be still and know that He is God.  O still, small voice, speak to us this hour that we might become makers of Your peace in our homes, in our communities, and in our world. 

*Call to Worship:

L:  When we long for the special effects we think life should offer:

P:  it is enough, for us, that God comes in a soft, summer shower.

L:  When our hearts are cracked by the drought of doubt:

P:  it is enough, for us, that God opens up the fountains of faith for us.

L:  When our senses are deadened by the sales pitches of our culture:

P:  it is enough, for us, that God wraps us in the silence of grace.


Prayer of Confession:  God, sometimes the journey is too much; we can’t go on, and we complain that we are all alone.  Nobody cares, not even you.  Our strength is gone, and we are ready to give up.  In those times, when we are consumed with self-pity and convinced there is no hope, send your Spirit into our hearts to remind us of your sustaining grace.  Strengthen us at your Table and by the daily claiming of our baptism, so we may go confidently on our journeys, carrying out the mission you have given us.  Through Christ we pray. Amen.




Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Wednesday Mornings from 9:00 to 11:00.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Loose change goes to Kenya/Rev. Malaho.

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

“Church In The Park” June 26th, at 9:30 weather permitting, but we will have a luncheon either way.  No Sunday School.   Please bring a dish to pass.  Meat, drinks, and paper products will be provided. 

Newsletter Deadline will be Tuesday, June 28th

Social Hour following church on July 2nd

Presbyterian Women will meet on Thursday, July 14th at 11 A.M.

Men’s Breakfast Wednesday July 20th at 8:00 A.M.

Please mark your envelope if you are contributing to the air duct cleaning fund

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month.  Hosting only means setting out what is brought and cleaning up afterward.  It does not mean bringing everything to share.

We are looking for “Message in Music” for the summer months.

WBRE is doing a 1 hour program on the Agnes flood of 1972 on Monday, June 20 at 7:00.  Sixteen mm film was found and has been remastered for this broadcast.  Many of us remember living in this area at the time and some may have gone to help clean up the mess left behind by the flood waters. 

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