Leesville United Methodist
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Leesville United Methodist

Bruce Sayre, Pastor 
510 East Columbia Ave
Leesville, SC 29070
Phone: 803-532-3817
Fax: 803-532-9315
Worship: 9:00 and 11:00




What is madness?  Are there real “demons” or are they products of a troubled mind?  Although this book doesn’t give a true answer to these questions it does provide some insight into what each feels like to the sufferer and those who love him.  This book is the fictional (but based on some documented historical facts and several biblical passages) account of the Gerasene demoniac that Jesus healed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  The book is very interesting because neither God nor Jesus are mentioned at all until the very end of the book, but the philosopher/ servant Tallis learns a lot about the struggle of Good vs. Evil.  Much of this insight comes from the slave Samir who seems to know God and goodness even though he does not claim to be a part of any real religion.   Samir has some of the most powerful statements in the book.  Two of  my favorites were found on pg. 186,
“The greatest trick of the Lord of Souls is to convince a man he is weak.  Weak against drink, against rage.  Weak against any form of evil, middling or not.  Too weak to change things.”

 Isn’t this the excuse we use when we sin—we are too weak—we need strength—what many don’t see is that the strength we need is inside each of us.  We just need to ask God for the way to find it.  He gives us what we need.  To fight evil we need only to trust in Him, obey his commandments, and trust His strength to fight.

 “Our choice for good will always aid another, Always!.” (pg. 186) is another favorite quote from Samir which reminds me of the following passage from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians,

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (New International Version)

In our Disciple I class we have been studying the contrasts in the Gospel of John.  I noticed many references to light and darkness/ good and evil in this book.  Evil is dark, scary, foul smelling, a tempest; while Good is portrayed as lightness, happiness, “the big bright man”, “Across the Sea,” and finally as Jesus of Nazareth.  
I really enjoyed this book-as I do most biblical fiction.  In the historical notes at the end of the book the author tells us that she did discover the name “Kardus” in her research on the demoniac from the Bible.  After reading this book I will forever see Kardus when I hear the story of the Gerasene demoniac who many say was the very first Christian missionary.  

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