The Influence of Piety
11 August 2010
The holy man was reverenced with so great gratitude that where he remained for a time in a house, all hearts were resolved to practice the faith more strictly.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again.
- Acts 20.37, 38
I rather imagine Paul as somewhat like Columbanus. To be in his presence was to sense something transcendent, something so firm and heavy that it made you want to do better, work harder, be a more sincere Christian. No wonder those elders from Ephesus cried at the prospect of not seeing him again.
We have seen examples of such piety in our own day. Mother Teresa comes to mind, of course. Malcolm Muggeridge filmed a documentary on the Albanian saint and reported that, during one segment, when they had to tape without lights because the bright light was just too painful for the many dying inmates, an ethereal glow accompanied Mother Teresa the entire time and lit up every bed she visited.
Do we light people up for the Lord like this? Peter wrote that the hope of glory which we cherish so deeply should have such a powerful effect on us that it will show through in our lives. People will see the hope that dwells within us. They will sense something different, something attractive, and they will ask a reason for it.
But this only happens when the hope we entertain, of being with God in His glory, becomes the hope we live - showing His beauty, goodness, truth, compassion, and love to the people around us. When His glory shows through us like this - like it did in Paul and Columbanus and Mother Teresa - then others will be influenced by the work of the Lord in us, and in very powerful ways.
Do we aspire to this? Dare to pray for it? Live as if it could really be true? If we will, God will meet us, fill us, and show Himself through us in ways that others will not be able to deny. What a glorious prospect to seek!
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?
This Week's Download: Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire - Get it, get familiar with it, and begin to pray about using it with the people around you.