S-1242 4MIL/3A 03/30/11, (O) #143 v 1, 5, 6, (S) #388, (C) #400
Text: Psalm 8; 2 Samuel 12:1-13; Mark 5:1-20
Theme: “Broken LIFE” (Mark 5:1-7)
Question: “How is your life? 4th in Sermon series Broken…But NOT Broke
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! The text for our 4th Midweek is from the Gospel lesson: “They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before Him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me’” (Mark 5:1-7).
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
You who are the treasured possession of the Lord Jesus, in his book A Child Called “It” David Pelzer speaks of his childhood abuse under his monster mother. I will tell you I have never in my 55 years ever read of such horrific and tormenting abuse both physically and emotionally. From 4 years old till 12 years David was abused so severely that it is simply a remarkable thing that he even survived and lived. The horror began at a young age. His mother beat him relentlessly. She made him sleep on the floor beneath the table with only few newspapers to cover his cold body. But the horror and torment continued. I will not tell you everything she did, to spare you some of the gory details but will highlight some. She would force him to take cold bath and keep his head under water. He was the slave of the family doing all the chores—cleaning the dishes in scolding hot water. She forced him to breathe the “mixture” as he called it of ammonia and Clorox until he passed out. He couldn’t eat with the family, but alone either from the left over’s of his younger brother or the dog. At time there would be periods of 3 to 10 days without a morsel entering his mouth. Forced to vomit daily when he came home from school to make sure there was nothing in his stomach. Poured down his throat ammonia, stabbed him and sent him to sit on the bottom of the steps as a prisoner of war on his hands with his head pulled back.
In the fifth grade he submitted a name for the school newspaper and David’s entry won. His Teacher Mr. Ziegler congratulated him and sent a letter to his mother of how proud he was of David. But his mother wasn’t impressed. Listen to David as he tells what happened when he brought the letter home: Elated, I ran to Mother’s house faster than ever before. As I should have expected, my happiness was short-lived. The ***** tore the letter open, read it quickly and scoffed, ‘Well, Mr. Ziegler says I should be so proud of you for naming the school newspaper. He also claims that you are one of the top pupils in his class. Well, aren’t you special?’ Suddenly, her voice turned ice cold and she jabbed her finger at my face and hissed, ‘Get one thing straight, you little **************! There is nothing you can do to impress me! Do you understand me? You are a NOBODY! An IT! You are nonexistent! You are a ******* child! I hate you and I wish you were DEAD! DEAD! Do you hear me? DEAD!’” P. 140
It is hard for us to understand how anyone let alone a mother can treat one of her very own children as this sick woman did. But these are the signs of broken life. In the Gospel reading for tonight, St. Mark describes the broken life of another child. This young man’s life is tormented not by a mother, but by demons who abused him terribly.
Mark describes the torment in this manner: And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces.
This unknown man is tormented, abused and his life is broken. He has no family, no one to provide for his needs; no one to care for him; but alone like a wild beast in the wilderness. He lives among the tombs, because homeless people would often find shelter out of the rain and cold in caves (used at the time for tombs). His life is broken down by the power of the demons; “broken” in the eyes of the world; his broken chains show the power of his bondage that broke his spirit and himself.
But then a great and wonderful thing happened. This wild man, meets the Wonder Man from Nazareth—Rabbi Jesus. Jesus has compassion on him. He talks to him, and drives the demons out of his body and casts them into the herd of pigs. With this act of mercy, we behold Jesus putting the BROKEN life of this man back together again. We see how precious is one soul in the sight of the Lord; more valuable than all the animals in the world.
As people listen to the story, they ask why the waist? Why destroy all of these pigs? But this is the wrong question. What at stake is not the life of the pigs, though there was a great loss to the owners almost $30.000; it is the life of this young man who has been tormented and tortured. Sadly many don’t see this at all.
After all this is the reason the heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus into the world to heal the Broken lives of His saints by His death and resurrection. That is why Jesus endured the torment of hell on the cross of Calvary. This is why He permitted people to break down His body, so that life—broken lives of His people might be made whole again. PAUSE.
Open your eyes and study people well and you will see broken lives everywhere. We have broken marriages, broken homes, broken sprits and broken promises. Many people are caught up in the bondage of those pursuing the world and what it offers, the “latest thrill,” drugs, violence, hatred of others, spiritual ignorance, the bondage of what is touted as freedom (open attitudes of lifestyles, whether heterosexual or homosexual, abortion and promiscuity).
Even in our O.T. lesson for today (2 Samuel 12:1-13) we hear Nathan telling David about what he did to break the heart and home of Uriah and eventually kill him. That is what happens when we break our relationship with the Lord. When the Lord is not in our hearts the devil is. When we are not worshiping the Creator of the Universe, we are walking and worshiping the Prince of darkness. When we don’t talk to the Lord daily, we listen to other voices that lead us astray.
Today, many of our people don’t know how to talk to each other. We witness this by all of the broken communications. People are not able to communicate with each other face to face. They send text messaging, twittering, facebook, etc., how sad yet so real.
It is time for us to realize what a special gift life is. Life is so special to God that He didn’t let one tormented soul remain bound by the shackles of the demons but released him from this bondage and set him free to go and tell his family what the Lord has done for him. PAUSE.
On March 5, 1973 in Daly City, California, David Pelzer was rescued from his monster mother and taken to a foster home and his life of freedom began. He didn’t know there was such love out there. He didn’t know there was anyone who cared about him. He didn’t know that someone could and would care for him. But someone did and today David travels all over the USA speaking and bringing awareness to child abuse and end to this cycle of broken lives in many children.
On Friday April 3, 33 AD outside of the walls of Jerusalem, the Rabbi from Nazareth hung on the cross. His body broken. His blood spilled. His muscles ached. His hands, feet and side were pierced. His head poked and prodded by thorns. He became the scapegoat for all humanity. On that cross, Jesus the heaven-sent Savior completed His mission of rescuing all people who have been tormented and bound by the shackles of the devil and sin. On that cross He brought about the rescue of broken and bound lives. By this brutal act, the Savior—Your Savior has put back Your life together again.
The devil would love to torment us like David Pelzer’s mother tormented him! He would love to remind us that we are nothing but an “IT”! There is nothing that is impressive about us. In fact, because of our sin, he would remind us that we should be dead! But tonight, as we gather in the Lord’s house, we are reminded again, how special we are to Him. We are not dead. We are not nobody! We are precious to Jesus and we are somebody—somebody who is loved, cherished and cared for. By the power of the Holy Spirit we know that our souls are more precious to Him than all of the animals in the world. That He would endure the torment of hell, so that we can live triumphantly with Him in heaven.
Oh, how blessed you are my dear brothers and sister in Christ—blessed beyond measure. You are the blessed souls whose broken life has been put back together by the mercy of God alone. And having had our lives put back together we leave with joy and share what God for Christ has done to us and for us—with one and all. May God grant us the joy and privilege of sharing His Good News with all people, those who are still living with broken lives. Amen.
Now the peace…
Soli Deo Gloria