Seeds of Prayer Liturgy Resource: Jesus and the Gerasene Demon

Mark 5:1-20

Psalm 89:1-4

Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

Sermon by Katy Stenta

Call to Worship

O God, Lord of hosts, who is as mighty as you?

Your faithfulness surrounds you.

The heavens are you, and the earth, the North and the South you created.

Let us extol your name all day long.

Call to Worship

Our God is the God of the covenant, the one who’s word never fails

God never comes too early or too late, God comes in God’s perfect time

Put your faith and trust in God

Praise the God of steadfast love

Call to Worship

Who is Mighty

The God of Love

What is the power of our Lord and Savior? What is this forgiveness?

Help us to proclaim the power of your love we pray.

Prayer of Confession: Steadfast Love, we so often fall short to show the vastness and extent of your love. As such we have as much trouble naming evil, as we have proclaiming good. Sort out our hearts, cast away all the is not a part of your covenant, and bathe us once again in your forgiveness we pray.

Prayer of Confession: Too often we task ourselves with sorting who is in and who is out. We cast out entire individuals, ignoring that which torments them. Teach us to be the neighborhood, community and people of faith who practice welcome and let us leave the sorting to you, we pray. 

Assurance of Pardon: God is mighty, our rock and our salvation, so we can proclaim the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s forgiveness is stronger than rocks and longer than history: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Let us tell of your righteousness, God of steadfast love, covenant and forgiveness. This is the God we want to worship, this is the God who is a part of our lives. Let us go out and tell this news to the whole neighborhood we pray.

Communion Prayer: God you are our shade in the hot sun, our rock when things are unsteady, our shelter when we are under attack. From the beginning, you placed us in the garden and walked with us. When we missed your presence, you sent yourself as a teaching, healing, loving embodiment of your Love Jesus: the word, the covenant, the body, the presence. Send your Holy Spirit upon these elements so we can taste and see your love as a foretaste of the kingdom banquet we pray.

With Children: Create a contract of Love between the kids and God, Talk about what bad thoughts/feelings plague you: pray that they can be treated/controlled (maybe write them down and rip them up). Talk about why the people might have been afraid of the healing (bad treatment in the past? the fact that they blamed the man for his ills?), Ritually wash hands/talk about fogginess, burn sins (mini Ash Weds/precursor)


Caution: This passage also allows for Ableism particularly for those individuals with mental illness.

More Resources:

Mark 5:1-20  Reflections on sin and mental illness. Jesus as making people uncomfortable Stilling of the storm cf. the healing of the demoniac Living to set others free But pigs can swim… The demoniac as good soil—and God’s use of flawed humans  Podcast dealing with the good news of this pericope The Gerasene demoniac and mental health

A service of healing based on Mark 5:1-18  

Direct link to the worship resources for the service above The cost of freedom/consequences of deliverance

The response to Jesus on the wrong side of the tracks: the Gerasenes and the healed man RCL-based resources

Includes addressing chiasmic structure of the passage and the impossibility of it being historical

And addressing the demoniac’s example of how to address the powers of darkness

And  “Declare how much God has done for you.”

“tomb”; cf. resurrection accounts. Root is μνήμη mnēmē remembrance, cf. mne·mon·ic, anamnesis, amnesia, etc. ttps://

“unclean” cf. catharsis





ä-kä’-thär-tos (Key)

Part of Speech


Root Word (Etymology)

From ἄλφα (G1) (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of καθαίρω (G2508) (meaning cleansed)


pastedGraphic.png Mar 5:7

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment G928 me not.


pastedGraphic.png Mar 6:48

And he saw them toiling G928 in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

The KJV translates Strong’s G928 in the following manner: torment (8x), pain (1x), toss (1x), vex (1x), toil (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

  1. test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal
  2. question by applying torture
  3. torture
  4. vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment
  5. be harassed, distressed
    1. of those who at sea are struggling with a head wind

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)

βασανίζω basanízō, bas-an-id’-zo; from G931; to torture:—pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.

Other Weeks of Seeds of Prayer Narrative Lectionary Resources available here 


Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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