“Brother,” said St. Francis of Assisi to a young monk who had just entered the monastery, “let’s go to town and preach.” They left the monastery and walked to the town and did not say a word to each other or the people they passed by in the marketplace. After several hours they retraced their steps and returned to the monastery.
The young monk wondered what was going on. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, he finally broke his silence and asked, “I thought we were going to town to preach to the people. Why didn’t we stop and preach?”
“But we have been preaching,” replied St. Francis. “As we walked, we were observed: people watched our manners, our faces, our behavior, and our clothes; and what they saw and observed represented what we stood for. We have been preaching.”
All of us “preach” all the time. Our behavior is our message and our places of interest become our pulpits. Our lives are lectures, and our pursuits are examples of our priorities. People watch us even as we watch them. And each time we pass from view and our words can no longer be heard, our sermons end. But a decision has been made about our values and what we believe is important. Our sermon is what we said and did.
The problem we face today is not the quantity of Christians but the quality of their lives. And if we want to win more, we must be more. How different would the world be if when we “declared God’s glory and goodness,” we also “lived God’s love and grace.” How we live our lives is more important than the words we speak.
Prayer: Lord, give us an awareness that we are “preaching” Your message by what we do. May our lives represent who You are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proclaim his salvation day after day. Psalm 96:2b