Don’t just preach the word – live the life.
Huddled together and whispering to one another, the church members stared as a homeless old man came into the sanctuary. I was waiting for the worship service ti begin when I saw him come in. The people who had asked me to come and preach stared at the old man as he sat down on the last pew. They were obviously talking about this sorry sight that had just settled into their church. One of the deacons went over to the depressed old man and spoke to him, then walked away and waited. The lonely man stood slowly and as he closed his tired coat around him, his head sunk shamefully lower. I wasn’t surprised when he walked to the door and left. The significance of this stupidity never left me. Those people might just as well have asked Jesus Himself to leave the church. It is not enough that we gather together to preach and listen to the Word of God. Even though it’s the source of life and truth, it doesn’t mean a thing to God until we start daily living it out. The challenge is to go beyond nodding in agreement to each other on Sunday morning and bring it to our daily lives. Don’t just listen to the Gospel; make it the blueprint for how you plan to live. St. Francis wrote, ”At all times preach the Gospel, and, if absolutely necessary, use words.” We know that the church must be prepared not only to preach it in word, but also to demonstrate it in deed. Who is the church? We are – you and I! It’s up to us to go beyond where others are willing to go, to take action beyond what your own courage will allow. Today you have the opportunity to preach to someone you’ve wanted to reach. Try doing it without saying anything. They might just understand.
‘The King will reply, ” ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ ” -Matt 25:40