A faithful minister of God, and a splendid messenger,
he gave to the good the example and form of an apostle,
preaching to the people of God with both words and deeds
so that he might with a good act inspire the one whom his words did not move.
- Sechnaill, Audite Omnes Amantes, Irish, 5th century
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
- Matthew 4.23
Sechnaill was writing about Patrick, giving an explanation for the widespread success of his ministry. Patrick went to Ireland as Jesus had been sent to the earth – to bring the saving mercy and Kingdom of Christ to lost souls.
Patrick’s mission to Ireland succeeded in large part because he kept such a good balance between words and deeds He taught people literacy, advised rulers, cared for the sick and outcast, showed mercy to the downtrodden, paid the cost liberate slaves, made disciples, ordained pastors, and always – always – brought the message of grace and truth through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In other words, He did what Jesus did, because he understood that he had been sent to Ireland in the same way Jesus was sent to earth.
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you” (Jn. 20.21). Jesus was sent to a particular time, place, and people, with the mission of bringing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to a sad and weary world.
We have been sent into our own Personal Mission Fields to live as Jesus did – as Patrick did. The people we see each day, day-in and day-out, need the grace of God. They need to know His love and forgiveness, and His power to bring new life into even their most mundane experiences.
And God has sent us to them to embody and proclaim His grace and truth. We have been sent by Jesus, like Jesus, to bring the Kingdom of God near to them by good words and good works.
If we have mapped out our Personal Mission Field, we’ve made a good start. From here we can begin to know and care for the people we encounter there, and to make the most of every opportunity to show them that Jesus is alive.
Working your Personal Mission Field, like Patrick, is a matter of prayer, waiting on the Lord, looking for open doors of opportunity, and being wise as serpents and harmless as doves as we speak and do for others what grace and truth require.
But if we aren’t even thinking about this, preparing for it, planning for it, and having others to encourage and support us in our mission, how will we ever follow in the steps of Jesus?
Every day, each of us has an opportunity to recover a mission like Patrick’s, like the mission of Jesus. Each of us is a Patrick to the people around us.
Let each one of us strive to be “a faithful minister” of the grace and truth of our Lord, reaching out with the Good News of the Kingdom in a witness of word and deed.
Psalm 2.7-10 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won.
To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.
Help me each day to go as You went, O Lord, sent to my Personal Mission Field as You were sent to the world, so that I…
Improve Your Calling as an Agent of Grace
Jesus has sent us to the world as agents of grace. Our Mission Partners Outreach can help you follow God’s call to share the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom with the people in your Personal Mission Field. The training and materials are free, and the program is available in two formats, and can be used in your Bible study group or Sunday school class. Watch this brief video (click here), and download the informational flyer to learn more.
The Legacy of Patrick
Patrick made a lasting impact on Ireland and Europe, igniting a revival that lasted for nearly four centuries. He has left for us a legacy of priorities which we can appropriate for our own walk with and work for the Lord. Order your copy of The Legacy of Patrick from our online store (click here).
Like Patrick, we depend on the Lord to support our ministry, which He does through friends who pray for us and share their gifts with us, as the Lord leads. As you pray today, ask the Lord whether He might use you to support this work. You can do so by clicking the Contribute buttonat our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Carey, p. 153.