While there [Besancon] Columban heard that the prison was full of condemned men awaiting the death penalty.The man of God hastened to them and, having entered the gate without opposition, he preached the word of God to the condemned.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
- Hebrews 13.3
Let us remember that Columbanus was a scholar, who had taught many students for many years. He was a poet as well, and a man of considerable eloquence. He preached in the courts of royalty and held his own in the great theological debates of the day.
But his heart was in the Gospel and for those who needed to hear the Good News. So when, upon arriving in Bensancon, he learned of a nearby prison filled with condemned men, he immediately went to see if he could minister to them.
No one was insignificant to Columbanus. Everyone mattered, and even those condemned for heinous crimes needed to know the love of Jesus. Are we ready to reach out to whomever the Lord puts in our path? To share the love of Jesus and the Good News of His Kingdom, not just with friends and acquaintances, but with total strangers, and with the unlovely and unlovable?
This was the measure of Jesus' love, of course, and it must be the measure of ours. When the love that Jesus has for us grips our souls, we will love others as we have been loved. And we will not hesitate, when the opportunity arises, to make the most of it for the love of Christ and the progress of the Gospel.
But we must be ready. So let us prepare even now, giving thanks to God for the example of Columbanus, and pleading with the Lord that we might be ready and bold as he was. Even today.
This Week: OK, it's time to use the Questionnaire to talk with some of the people you've been praying for and getting to know. Please do so, and write to me with stories about what happened when you were bold to reach out with the Gospel.
Today in ReVision: So, is he? A Christian, I mean...
This Week's Download: Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire - Here's the tool to reach out to some folks with the Gospel.