Recently at a staff meeting one of my co-workers shared a poem by Edgar Guest called "Sermons We See" (printed below). The poem struck me as being profound, because it reminds the reader that we live out what we believe - or we should. Our lives are sermons. And I want to believe they are good ones. Memorable ones. Ones that inspire and uplift others. Ones that speak out what we believe. Ones that proclaim the Gospel.
I know deacons are given a particularly unique opportunity to preach the Gospel through their deeds of love and service within the church and broader community. I wanted to share this poem with you as encouragement in your roles, so that you are reminded not only of the privilege of serving, but also the responsibility of being leaders. We are observed by others. The way we move about our daily lives or "church business" reflects what we believe and what we think is important.
I know, as Christians, that living out our faith is not a new concept. What I'm curious about is whether it's remained a concept, or is a practised reality in our lives. Have you seen any good sermons lately?
Sermons We See
by Edgar Guest
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.