Oct 6, 2019-St Francis of Assisi- Blessing on the Franklin Common- 11AM
Welcome to the Franklin Common, to this beautiful park in the center of our city, to this beginning of autumn, to a celebration of God’s creation. Today we get to bring our selves, our families, our parents and our children, out into nature, to celebrate St Francis of Assisi and his message of humility and kindness, and a deep love for all God’s creation. And we get to bring our animals, big and small, our furry cats and silly dogs, our birds and bunnies and gerbils, our horses and goats and fish and turtles, and yes, even snakes…all manner of beings that we love and care for, that are such an important part of our lives every day. Some we can bring with us in person, and some we bring in our very full hearts, to this celebration of all God’s children.
Our world can get so busy… with work and school and sports and family and friends. St Francis reminds us to take a breath, to take some time to slow down, to connect to our world and all that is in it. He reminds us what God showed us from the beginning and every single day since… that we, that everyone, all and every creature, every tree and hill, every flower and blade of grass…every pond and lake and magnificent ocean… is a beloved creation. Your best friend and that kid in class you don’t really get, that teacher or boss or co-worker that you see all the time, that homeless person you pass on the street, that neighbor next door with the cool car, and that person you see on TV who doesn’t look like you or talk like you… All these are beloved creations of God. And St. Francis reminds us to stay in touch with the One who made them and you, and loves them and you… Always. No Matter What.
How do we do this? One way is to learn from the world around us. Francis believed that all nature is a mirror of God. That in enjoying nature, we understand better God’s creation and our place in it. So we invite you to listen to the beat of the earth and all its creatures. Very intentionally feel the wind on your face and the sun shining down, listen to the leaves crunching under your feet, and spend a few moments just watching the sun set. And take the time to listen to the little children… see how they are able to so easily be open and honest, are able to live in the moment; to pay attention to the details; are able to learn and grow, to stumble and get up, and try again. And as you do, also think about the animals… especially if you have had a special animal. Think about a time when you watched them from far away or very close up; or fed them, cleaned their special spaces, groomed or pet or cuddled them…. Remember… and pay attention to how your heart feels… and don’t be surprised if you feel a little warmer, if your heart feels a little softer, or you stand a little straighter, or catch yourself smiling… and let us give thanks…and a blessing… to all creatures and moments who are such a blessing to us.