He Lived His Name
June/Training for Mission
30 June 2010
Living his name, living his soul, from the crowds he prepared under the holy Law.
- Dallan Forgaill, Amra Cholumb Chille (Irish, 6th century)
She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me."
- Ruth 1.20
In the Bible names often carried great significance, as Naomi showed. Her life, which had been "pleasant" (Naomi), had turned out "bitter" (Mara). But joy would return because of the grace of God. Her faith in seeking the Lord and returning to Judah showed that she knew where relief from bitterness could be found, and that she was determined to seek it.
Columcille means "dove of the Church." Dallan tells us two beautiful things in this little line of his long poem. First, Colum lived out his name in his own life. He was the dove of the Church, bringing peace, new hope, and the promise of a new day. He was a man of peace and he trained many to take the peace of the Gospel to other parts of the world.
And that is the second sense: He lived his name out in the ones he trained in the holy Law of God. Interesting to think of missionary training as being subsumed under that rubric, no? These days we teach missionaries everything but the Law of God. Perhaps we should review the missions curriculum? Columcille taught his students to know and love the Law, to proclaim it in Jesus Christ, and to call men to lives of disciplined living in obedience to God's Law, that they might know and share the peace of God with Him and with their neighbors.
He lived his name, and those he trained lived it as well. What about us? We are "Christians" - "Christ-in-you-ones." Are we living that Name? Are we helping others to embrace and live that Name? Generations from now will people trace their own faith in Jesus Christ back to us and the way we lived and the work we did to leave a legacy for them (Ps. 45.17)?
Well, not if we don't follow the example of Colum and make a point to live out the Name of Jesus and to help others live that Name out as well. How will you do this today?
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