Strong in Their Weakness

To the world, we're nobodies. But we're definitely somebody to Christ.

The Celtic Revival: Age of the Peregrini (6)

Brave the host which has his hardness, an order with true angels’ acts:
though they were deaf, they had hearing; though they were lame, they had strength.

  - Béccan mac Luigdech, Fo Réir Choluimb, Irish, 7th century[1]

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

  - 1 Corinthians 1.27-29

Foolish, weak, base, despised, non-existent. God chooses those in whom He can most radiate His glory, those who in the world’s eyes are ignorant, naïve, and easily led, because they profess belief in Jesus. He takes those who are spiritually deaf and makes them hear His Word. He heals those with an aimless or unsteady gait and strengthens them to follow Him. And He enlists the nobodies of the world and makes them somebodies in Jesus.

Béccan was celebrating the monks who gathered around Colum Cille in the late 6thcentury. The community of Iona was their home, and the staging-ground for missions to the lost peoples of the British Isles. 

In the world’s eyes, these peregrini – wandering missionary/monks – were nobodies. They had no wealth, no connections, no pedigrees – nothing. They were “foolish” to the wisdom of the day and weak in the eyes of those to whom they brought the Good News of the Kingdom.

They were nothing, nobodies, and they had nothing. As many of the lost people of their day saw them, they were simply non-existent.

But they had an ear to the Word of God, and the strength of His Spirit to guide and empower them.

The first Irish peregrini who wandered about preaching the Good News of Jesus appeared a motley crew to most who saw and heard them; but they were God’s chosen vessels to carry on the work begun by Patrick, launching it beyond Ireland to distant lands. The Word they proclaimed was true, the lives they lived were beyond reproach, and the deliberateness and faithfulness with which they took up their work ensured that God would use them. 

And He did.

God does not require that we fit the world’s conception of someone to be reckoned with; indeed, the less we fuss and worry about making ourselves appealing on the world’s terms, the greater is the likelihood we’ll have ears to hear the Lord and strength from beyond our own resources to serve Him. 

You may regard yourself as not very clever or articulate, not well attached, and not able to do much, but if you can hear the Lord’s calling and instruction, and will surrender yourself to His power, He can use you in ways you’ve never dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20). Those humble monks had courage and a firm conviction that they were on the side of the angels as they ventured out to make the Good News of Jesus known. 

They knew their mission field and they worked it faithfully, often at great sacrifice.

In our day, the work of bearing witness is languishing; few are the pastors or lay people who make it a central feature of their ministries to reach out to the lost deliberately, consistently, and effectively.

We need more believers who will claim the mantle of Colum, and take up the noble calling of the Irish peregrini once again. Let us pray that ours will be the generation that reclaims the Great Commission as more than mere rhetoric, beginning in our own Personal Mission Fields.

Each of us is called, like Colum Cille, to be on peregrinatio pro Christo – going about our daily lives trusting not in our strength but the Lord’s, that we might be His faithful witnesses. If we hear His Word rightly, and if we rely on His Spirit to fill and empower us, we will be ready to exemplify Jesus and talk of Him with anyone we meet, in every situation of our lives. 

We may be called fools by our friends – unsaved and saved – but we will be fools for Christ. And we will have the strength of Colum – which is the power of God’s Spirit – to live and proclaim the Gospel. 

Today is the day of salvation. Now is the time for us nobodies to shine.

Psalm 107.1-3 (Faithfulness: Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Lord, You are good, we give thanks and we praise You! Your steadfast love will forever endure.
Let the redeemed, who from trouble You rescue, gather and say that Your mercy is sure!
  Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love
  We give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
  We who from east and west, north and south gather,
  Boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

Lord, a day is coming when we will stand before You to give an account for our deeds. Help me to be faithful today, and to…

It starts here. And it continues here, too.

Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? You don’t have to wander far and wide to be on peregrinatio pro Christo. In fact, you and I are peregrini every day. The question is not whether we are being witnesses for Christ. The question is what kind of witnesses are we? Watch this brief video (click here) explaining the concept of your Personal Mission Field. Then download the accompanying worksheet, map our your Personal Mission Field, and let each day become an adventure of wandering about for Jesus.

Thank the Lord with us!
The Lord provides for the needs of The Fellowship of Ailbe by moving in the hearts of those who benefit from our work and believe in our mission. If that includes you, please seek the Lord in prayer concerning this opportunity. It’s easy to give to The Fellowship of Ailbe, and all gifts are, of course, tax-deductible. You can click here to donate onlinethrough credit card or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe PsalterScripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1]Clancy and Márkus, p. 141.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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