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The Neighbors Are Nuts

When crazy becomes normal
This sermon is part of the sermon series "inSanity". See series.


When I was a kid, my parents used to drag me out to church on Sundays. I'd walk into this big building in a shirt and shoes that seemed too tight. We'd sing songs and pray prayers I didn't know at first. But the worst part for me was when the guy in the robe got up and began to speak. He'd intone some reading from a dusty old Bible and talk about bizarre events like nothing that ever happened at the school where I went. He'd sayeth this and uttereth that and I'd think to myself: What in the name of rock and roll and all things holy does any of this have to do with life—especially my life?

I hope you won't feel that way by the time we're done, though I do feel compelled to tell you that there are some bizarre parts to the story we'll read together. Jesus and his friends are living in a place called Galilee, on the northern edge of a very big lake. Think, the Upper Peninsula of Lake Michigan. Apparently, Jesus had some important business to do way down on the southern side of the lake and, because there was no good highway or skyway at this time, he and his friends board a ferry. Jesus' biographer, Luke, picks up the story in chapter 8 of his book at verse 26: "They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee."

Now to really appreciate what happens next, it helps to know that this whole zone at the southern tip of the lake was a pretty remarkable place. It took its name from the city of Gerasa, one of the principal towns there, but the region was more frequently called the Decapolis. That's Greek for the Ten Cities. The region of the Gerasenes was actually a whole network of towns and cities which had been planted there by the Greek Empire shortly after the time of Alexander ...

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Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church.us, a nondenominational, multisite church with locations in Oak Brook and Lombard, Illinois.

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