From Pastor Pat Kriss: Instruments of God's Peace
(Posted September 30, 2017)
Next week bears particular significance for anyone who appreciates the philosophy/theology of Francis of Assisi, for next week is observed as his “feast day” by Catholics and Episcopalians. By tradition, it’s also when we clergy get the opportunity to bless more than the two-legged members of our congregations, extending our blessing to our four legged and also feathered “flocks.”
Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome!
I think Francis’ message is especially important right now, in our chaotic and often scary world. It was Francis who, in his most famous prayer, instructed us to be Instruments of God’s Peace. You might be tempted to question, “An instrument of peace? How is it possible that I, as one person in a vast world that seems to be simmering with hatred, nuclear threats and power plays, can make any difference at all? Is peace even possible?”
As we head into this World Communion Sunday, we’re all aware, even by the kind of things we think of as bread, that we can seem so very, very different from one another. It seems such a long way from conflict to peace. Yet Francis showed us the way you start. You start so very small. One fish. One bird. A small group of people. You model love and peace one creature at a time. Eventually someone will notice – someone who, deep in their soul, has a hunger for being loved. Maybe, just maybe, they will start emulating you.
The truth is, that hunger for love dwells in every person even when they have become disconnected from it or traded it for a warlike disposition. Under the bluster, the need for the peace that comes with being loved is strong. Francis was the mirror image of Jesus. Jesus greeted skepticism with love. He met madness with love. He embraced poverty and disease with love. He met tears and grieving with love. He responded to hatred, to violence with forgiveness, with “a chaser of love.”
This Sunday (October 1, 2017) we will, among the brown and tan and white loaves of bread, look for the common ingredient among us all. That’s our hunger for love. We will look at how just the smallest act of love in the most unlikely of places on the globe has made a difference.
And I will also bless our leashed dogs and caged cats or other creatures right after church, out in the garden. May Peace Prevail on Earth. There will be treats for good critters! -- Pastor Pat Kriss