upper room daily devotions

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy Feast of Saint Francis

It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.~ St. Francis of Assisi

Today I am off to bless gardens, pets, and animals (i.e. animals that are not pets) in people's homes and neighborhoods. This is the first year I've done a "I'll come to you" day of blessing. It's kind of nice. People have asked me to bless ducks in their neighborhood pond, their gardens, their community pea patches, and animals in a shelter. Many of us have become used to the joy of a service of blessing, but this year when I thought of Saint Francis, I thought of the quote above and of his love for the least, last, and outcast. These will not come into our churches for blessing. I thought of homebound people who have only their pets for company, the local shelter, and animals in the zoo that are far from their natural habitats. I also thought of the environment as a whole. Later today I will go to Golden Gardens a bless the beach and Puget Sound, one of the world's most diverse ecosystems. I am privileged to live next to it.

Too often the church has tamed Saint Francis. While the blessing of pets is a wonderful and joyful experience, we need to remember the wildness of his love and the unwavering commitment to a God of radical inclusion. There is nothing tame about such a God.

Happy Feast of Saint Francis.

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