When the holy man and his companions appeared before the king, the greatness of his learning caused him to stand in the favour of the king and court.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
So Agrippa said to Paul, "You have permission to speak for yourself."
- Acts 26.1
Columbanus had not been seeking an audience with King Sigibert, but it was inevitable he would have one, and for two reasons. First, people hungry for true and genuine faith were flocking to him, to hear the plain teaching of the Word of God. Second, the priests from whom those people were fleeing to Columbanus had begun to complain about him.
Sigibert was impressed with Columbanus because he wasn't a lackey, like most of the Catholic priests the king knew, but a man of plain speech, broad learning, and proven ability. Sigibert implored him to find a quiet retreat within his kingdom and set up shop there, which he did, at what would become the first of several monasteries Columbanus would build (Annegray).
You never know where faithful obedience to Christ might land you. Paul probably never imagined himself standing before Agrippa, much less Caesar himself. But there he was. Where will the Lord place us if we are faithful in living for Him and speaking the truth in love to the people around us? Jesus promised that they who are faithful in small things will be given greater opportunities to serve Him.
Daily faithfulness in seeking the Lord, following Him step by step, and serving others consistently in His Name - this is the way to make progress in your mission field, and to enlarge that mission field so that it begins to include more people still. Each of us can expect the Lord Jesus to increase our ministry - maybe not standing before kings, but real increase - as we are faithful in the everyday acts of devotion and obedience which prove that we are His followers, indeed.
Exercise for this Month: You have been praying for the people in your Personal Mission Field. Now, make the effort to get to know some of them a little better. Reach out with a friendly word, and interested question, a helping hand. Lead with love as you continue praying.
Today in ReVision: A Glimpse into the Future? - Is the Church in Europe merely a foretaste of what the Church in America is becoming?