So greatly did the man of God abound in faith, that whomever he consecrated, the last day found persevering in good works...Nor did he, endued with so great strength, undeservedly obtain an increase of grace, who guided by his learning, was unwilling to deviate from the path of a just life.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.
- Psalm 9.7, 8
Columbanus was a man of great faith. He believed in God with all the strength of his soul and body, and he trusted Jesus Christ for everything about his life and ministry. When Columbanus taught someone, he stayed taught, "persevering in good works" until the return of the Lord. And those who learned from him to walk "the path of a just life" did not want for grace from the Lord to fulfill their desire.
What must it have been like to be discipled by that giant? What hours in Scripture and prayer, what visions of promises realized, what admonitions to fear the Lord, what soaring celebrations of praise and thanks for every daily gift must have filled those sessions! Do we see anything like this in contemporary Christian education? Hardly.
There are many reasons why. One, I suspect, is that for Columbanus and his fellow peregrini, the Christian faith was not merely another aspect of their lives, to be tucked into a crowded weekly schedule at the appropriate time. The Christian faith was their lives, because Jesus Christ was their lives. They walked the just path; preached righteousness and repentance; healed, cured, taught, confronted, and prophesied with all their might because this was all their life.
And when these folks taught you, and you listened and carried through, you stayed taught. Which is precisely why the Celtic revival lasted for nearly four centuries, winning all of Ireland to the faith and revitalizing the Church in Wales, Scotland, the Low Countries, France, Germany, Switzerland, Northern Italy, and elsewhere.
Where are the serious Christian educators of our day? Where are the men and women who walk the just path and who disciple others to walk it with them, in every aspect of their lives? We could use a few more such folk in our day.
Today in ReVision: Spiritual Change - The wheel of spiritual change grinds slowly, but it never ceases to grind.
This Week's Download: Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire - Get it and use it to improve your witness for Christ.