I am thinking this morning about something we talked about in our small group last night. The question posed in our video lesson was this: how are we to BE the good news in our world? More specifically, what would it look like for me to be "good news" in the lives of the people with whom I interact every day? With all the bad news that bombards us each day, isn't good news something we all desperately crave? In contrast to what we hear from the world, what does our faith have to offer that would make it "good" news and how would we communicate it in such a way that it would be heard?
One of the speakers in our video last night reminded us of one of my favorite quotes from St. Francis:
Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary use words.
Obviously, this thought represents the power found in the ways we simply live our lives on a day to day basis. Lives lived from a place of love, connection, compassion and service "preach the gospel." When someone is the unexpected recipient of service without an agenda or love without judgment, it is likely to be received as good news. And, as Pastor Rob said in his sermon yesterday, when we see light in the darkness, we are likely to trace it back to its Source.
In checking the exact words of the quote above, I ran across the other familiar words that we associate with St. Francis. I thought they held special meaning in the context of being "good news" to a world who so desperately needs it. What it look like for me, with God's help, to REALLY live out this prayer?
Lord make me an instrument of your peace Where there is hatred, O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, Joy.
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.
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred,
O Divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled