Lament for a Departed Prophet
June/Training for Mission
21 June 2010
Now he is not, nothing is left to us, no relief for a soul, our sage. For he has died to us, the leader of nations who guarded the living, who was our chief of the needy, he has died to us, who was our messenger of the Lord...
- Dallan Forgaill, Amra Choluimb Chille (Irish, 6th 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
The death of Columcille struck his community like a bolt of lightning. He was much loved and would be greatly missed. It fell to Dallan Forgaill to summarize the community's feelings about their beloved saint and mentor.
Columcilled was their guardian, servant, and teacher. His example and instruction opened the door for many Irish missionaries to take the Gospel to far away places, and to do so with great effects. The Iona community was devasted by his death. However, his legacy continued in a string of equally capable and effective abbots, who carried on Columcille's work and extended it even further.
Paul was careful to ensure that his own work would not end with his departure from this world. As we see in 2 Timothy 2.2, he trained his disciples to labor at the task of disciple-making until they could see their efforts being carried on to three generations beyond themselves.
In our day of Christian narcissism, when the Gospel, the Church, and even God Himself are supposed to exist for the sake of each "seeker," it's frightening to consider what legacy we might be leaving to the next generation: "I got mine from God, now you get yours, too"?
The work of personal evangelism has already pretty much ground to a halt. Will the work of world missions follow? Without a commitment to equip the generations that succeed us with the vision, spiritual vitality, and practical skills for disciple-making, the faith of Christ will wither and be discarded. What is your responsibility in this high and holy calling, and how will you carry it out?
Today in ReVision: Subjunctive Science - Scientists on the trail of the origins of life - maybe.
This Week's Download: Faithfulness in Ministry- Here's a tool you can use to evaluate your work in making disciples.
Come on over to the book store where you can find some useful resources to help you take up this calling to make disciples.