St. Francis of Assisi is a popular Saint. He commonly known as the patron saint of animals and the founder of the Franciscan Order of monks. I would like to offer a broader scope to his witness for Christ that we might learn from his example. St. Francis was born in 1181 in Italy. He was the son of wealthy cloth merchant. He was known for wild living and his love of French culture. The name Francis come from his nickname Francesco or “little frenchman” in Italian. He spent time as a soldier and was even imprisoned. On a pilgrimage to Rome he become so concerned with the plight of the poor that he took a vow of poverty. It was during this time that he become known for his love of animals, simplistic lifestyle and advocacy for the poor. He founded the Franciscan Order of monks as a result of many people who began to follow his example of poverty and service in Christ’s name. Later, legend says during the crusades he risked his own life to preach the Gospel to the Muslims. He even appeared before a Muslim ruler who although not converted respected Francis and offered him safe passage. 1 Later in life Francis received the stigmata or the wounds of Christ. Many saw this as God declaring Francis holy and being literally transformed into the image of Christ. He died in 1226.
Saint Francis is an example of living a life foolishly for Christ. He lived in poverty, service, and was unafraid to preach the Gospel through word and deed. He is a true example of what it means to be transformed into Christ’s Image. We commemorate Saint Francis on October 4th.
The following prayer is often attributed to Saint Francis,
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
We’ve all heard or seen things that we didn’t quite believe. The call of a loved one’s unexpected death, hearing that your mother has breast cancer, seeing the after math of the plane hitting a building where people you know work. The day I heard my grandfather died, the day my mother told me she had cancer and the day in 2011 seeing the aftermath of the plane hitting the pentagon were very real for me. My initial response to all these events was shock and disbelief. I wanted to hide and escape from their reality. There were moments when nothing could break through the fear and doubt.
The disciples in the upper room where no different. They had witnessed Jesus die. The had seen Christ crucified and buried. And now they were overcome with grief. They had heard the story of the empty tomb, of Mary Magdalene, Peter and the other disciple seeing the risen Christ. But for the disciples in that room fear and grief prevented them from believing. Which is understandable, when you see somebody die you don’t expect them to just be resurrected as if nothing happened, Do you? They had locked themselves in that upper room not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. At that point the disciples were more …
Here is my first sermon for my preaching class. It was well received.
Feedback would be nice. Enjoy the new tinder dating app as well.!!!
Gospel Text: Matthew 3:16-4:11
It is the first day of class. We have heard various rumors or information about what the class is like and especially what the professor is like. Is the professor mean, scary or nice? How do they teach? What are their expectations? However, you do not really know until you actually meet the professor. As you begin to dialogue with the professor you get a better idea of who they are and their expectations for you.
Reflecting on Easter, it must have been hard for the disciples to transition from the whole Crucifixion and Resurrection. I mean look at how there were locked up in the room and Jesus revealed himself to them.(John 20) But I don’t think the Disciples quite got it until Jesus met them on the beach and again invited them to ministry. (John 21) I think what gives me hope is that during times of transition that Jesus comes and re-invites us to Kingdom work, that new call, (yet familiar if you look at him calling the disciples from their jobs as fishermen. Luke 5) the call from the Resurrected Jesus is one that is eternal a call for a new life.