July 2, 2017
Pentecost 4A
Matthew 10: 40-42


“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. … and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:40,42)


The Story of Sir Launfal
Based on the poem, “The Vision of Sir Launfal”
By James Russell Lowell


It was a perfect day in June, one of those days when heaven reaches down and touches the earth. It was warm and fresh, the hills were green, the flowers were in bloom, the birds were singing.   All of creation was bright and alive.


It was a perfect day for Sir Launfal to begin his quest. Sir Launfal was a grand and noble man, he was the Lord of the county, and his quest was holy and pure. Today he would mount his trusty steed and go out in search of the holy grail, the very cup that our Lord used “In the night he was betrayed,” the cup that held the saving blood of God.


Sir Launfal put on his finest clothes, bright colors that represented his family, his land, and his faith. He then carefully put on his armor, the bright polished silver of a great knight. He strapped his golden sword to his side, and grab his shield, adorned with his proud and noble crest.


As he stepped out into the day, the sun danced upon him. The call went out to lower the drawbridge and open the gate, Sir Launfal mounted his horse and paraded out of his castle. The people cheered their Knight as he made his way out into his adventure.


When he arrived at the gate Sir Launfal became aware of a leper standing at the side of the road. The man was so foul and bent that Launfal’s flesh began to crawl. The man appear to Launfal as a blot on the beautiful summer morning.


In scorn he tossed the man a piece of gold and rode off on his holy quest.


The leper did not stoop over to pick up the gold, he only muttered to himself, “He gives nothing but worthless Gold.”


Sir Launfal searched far and near all summer long but had not found the holy grail. And now the warm breezes of summer were being replaced by the cold winds of winter. Flowers gave way to snow flakes. The birds were gone, but still Sir Launfel searched and searched.


Finally one day he noticed that his bright and fine clothes were now tattered and torn, thin and faded, his once bright and shiny armor no longer reflected the sun, but instead was giving way to rust. And Sir Launfel noticed that he had become a bit bent and gray. Winter had taken its toll. The proud and noble Knight was gone, all that was left was a tired and hungry man. His quest had made him nothing more than a beggar.


Soon it was Christmas, Launfel found himself suffering and alone. That night he had a dream. He dreamed that he was returning to his castle, it was summer again, everything was bright and warm like that day that he left. And as he approached the gate to his castle he recognized the leper, the one to which he had thrown the gold piece to on the day that his quest began. This time Sir Launfal felt compassion for the man who once made his skin crawl. Deep in his soul he knew more about suffering and poverty. So this time Sir Launfel stopped. He reached into his saddle bag and pulled out a cup and plate. He pulled out a scrap of bread and put in on the plate, he then walked over to the stream that flowed outside of the castle and filled the cup with water. He then reached out and gave the cup and the plate to the foul and bent man.


And as the beggar received the cup and the plate, the Leper began to change. A light shined down and the beggar became bright and tall, fair and straight. And the simple cup and plate turned to gold. The Leper spoke, “Do not be afraid, It is I. You have found the Holy Grail for which you have been searching.


The Crust is my body broken for thee
This water my blood shed for thee
the Holy Supper is kept indeed
When we share with another in need


Not what we give, but what we share
for the gift without the giver is bare
He who gives of himself feeds three
Himself, his neighbor, and me


Sir Launfel awoke from his dream, he knew that the holy grail for which he was searching waited for him at home, in his castle.


It is now said that in the county of Sir Launfal there is no poverty. The castle gates are open wide, and all are welcome to feast inside.


      1. Touched By Love


Touched by love
I’ve been drenched in the waters that flow from above
Now I’m living wet, reaching out to the little ones
Touched by love


I see your face
In the least of these my brothers and sisters
I have found grace
Reaching out to find the kingdom


Touched by love
I’ve been drenched in the waters that flow from above
Now I’m living wet, reaching out to the little ones
Touched by love


I am alive
The waters of love are filled to overflowing
I am surprised
To find my life in simple giving


Touched by love
I’ve been drenched in the waters that flow from above
Now I’m living wet, reaching out to the little ones
Touched by love


Love one another
Watch the rain fall down from heaven
When we love one another
Fear lets go, it has no power


Touched by love
I’ve been drenched in the waters that flow from above
Now I’m living wet, reaching out to the little ones
Touched by love




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