The scripture lessons for today invite us into the mystery of a paradox, that it is not until we are willing to let go of our possessions, willing to stop trying to fill up with them, that we are made whole and able to follow Jesus. By letting go of those things that are less than God, we are made whole and full by God. Certainly, we can understand why people hold on to their possessions -- a paradox such as this one is hard to wrap our minds around. The only way to let go is through faith. Faith allows us to take the illogical leap that is necessary. While we are making the leap, our relationship with God and with our faithful community sustains us through the fear and discomfort that ensues. And when we land on the other side – when we experience healing – they rejoice with us.
Even though St. Francis' actions seem radical to us, he had the right idea. He was willing to stand naked before God and his community in order to take on a new life of freedom from being possessed by possessions. Of course, I'm not suggesting that we literally follow his example. I'm not expecting to see any of you naked in Canton Center next week, nor am I planning to do so. Instead, I'm suggesting that we need to symbolically stand naked before God and our Christian community, revealing our weaknesses, asking help in time of need, and expressing our willingness to be healed. In doing so, we are made whole. Our possessions no longer possess us and our lives are enlarged. We are free to be ourselves and to love ourselves. We are free to love God with our whole heart and soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are free to follow Jesus. Amen.
FULL SERMON HERE