All posts tagged St. Francis

  • Marked by Mercy in 2016


    Marked by Mercy in 2016
    Brian Zahnd

    I’m praying that in 2016 the church would be marked by mercy — that we would walk the world as the pardon of God.

    I wrote these words yesterday following our Wednesday Noon Prayer and Communion service in the Upper Room. As we were praying about the witness of the church in America in the coming year, our prayers took on the theme of mercy.

    We are living in a moment marked by mean-spiritedness. Much of this meanness is directed toward immigrants and refugees, Muslims and foreigners. And, of course, various political factions aim their ire at one another. As we move through the presidential campaigns of 2016, I sadly anticipate the mean-spirited rhetoric to grow worse.

    My prayer is that in 2016 the church would be something other. That instead of conforming to the spirit of the age, the church would model mercy as a Christlike act of nonconformity. Or to say it another way, I’m praying that the church would conform to the mercy of Christ and not to the current zeitgeist of mean-spiritedness. I’m praying that we would walk the world as the pardon of God — a phrase borrowed from G.K. Chesterton’s description of Saint Francis of Assisi.
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  • Engaging Orthodoxy

    Last month I was riding on a train from Rome to Assisi. Peri and I were going there to explore the stomping grounds of “an Italian poet from the 13th century” — Saint Francis, the remarkable “friar minor” who brought profound spiritual renewal to his generation by creatively preaching a return to the simplicity of the gospel. As I rode on the train I was reading about the development of the Apostles’ Creed on Wikipedia which I had googled on my iPhone, all the while listening to Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace by the Foo Fighters on my iPod.

    A synchronicity of centuries.

    1st century faith & gospel
    2nd century confession & creed
    13th century poet & prophet
    21st century culture & technology
    On the train from Rome to Assisi

    Engaging Orthodoxy
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