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A Musing for those with Ears

I need to make a confession that many of you already know. Sometimes I can get a little wordy. I hear some folks call it long winded. My daughter, Sydney, actually times my sermons and is not shy about sharing the minutes and seconds if she thinks I went too long. However, today’s musing does not need a whole lot of verbiage around it. It is simply a “let those with ears hear” sort of story.

I will say it fits well into my sermon series on The Great Ends of the Church found in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Book of Order. The final statement in the list is that “The Great Ends of the Church are the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.”

So read this story and may those with ears hear. And in the hearing may it impact our daily lives.

Saint Francis of Assisi discarded a life of lavish wealth for a life dedicated to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God. According to Francis, he was commanded by God to rebuild the church and to do so while living in poverty. He did so and became an inspiration to many and in so led many to Christ.

An especially powerful story is told that Francis of Assisi once invited a young monk to join him on a trip to preach in a nearby town. The monk was honored to even be asked and readily accepted the invitation. All day the two monks walked through the streets and alleys of the town and even ventured into the suburbs. They rubbed shoulders with hundreds of people. At the end of the day the two headed back home. The young monk was puzzled that Francis had not even once addressed a crowd, nor had he talked to anyone about the gospel. Greatly disappointed, his young companion finally said to Francis, “I thought we were going into town to preach.”

Francis responded, “My son, we have preached. We were preaching while we were walking. Many saw us and our behavior was closely watched. It is of no use to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk!”

Yes, may those with ears hear this in their hearts.

Alleluia. Amen.


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