1And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” – Luke 4:33-35
We have a wonderful library at Trinity ELC with two incredible people who faithfully care for the books there. The problem we face though is that it is largely underused.
To get us in touch with this important resource for Christian growth I am promoting a “Book of the Month.” This month’s book is entitled “Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America.”
Lutherans don’t often deal with this topic so directly, but spiritual warfare is as real for us as it was for Martin Luther who is reportedly to have thrown his ink container at the devil.
The publisher (CPH) describes the book this way:
A fascinating and unnerving book, Afraid is a must-read that equips all Christians to recognize the devil’s influence in our society and to act on it.
Robert Bennett describes real events and actual confessions people have shared with him of demonic encounters—in America, in our modern age. Summoning demons, interacting with “ghosts,” and holding séances led to what many may call horrifying hallucinations and even schizophrenia. But for many Americans, these things are their spirituality.
How can we break free from the despair and crushing fear that such encounters can bring? How do we come to the aid of our neighbors who are lost in Satan’s deceptions? Bennett points us to the only way out: God’s grace and the medicines He gives to His people.
In last Sunday’s Gospel reading we heard of Jesus’ encounter with a demonic and it was through the power of His word that the man was set free. It is as God’s word in Christ comes to us through Scripture, preaching and the Sacraments that we are preserved from the power of evil and and given the authority to share with others the freedom of the Gospel that liberates people from sin, death and the power of the devil.
We have ordered one copy of this book for our library along with an earlier book by the same author (I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare), If you would like to purchase your own copy you can follow the above links, order one through our church office or phone Concordia Publishing House (1-800-325-3040) directly.
In case you missed the message for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany or would like to listen again please follow this link or watch below.
– Pastor Tim