The Celtic Revival: Celtic Christian Worldview (12)
O helper of workers,
ruler of all the good,
guard on the ramparts
and defender of the faithful,
who lift up the lowly
and crush the proud,
ruler of the faithful...
I beg that me, a little man
trembling and most wretched,
rowing through the infinite storm
of this age,
Christ may draw after Him to the lofty
most beautiful haven of life...
- Colum Cille, Adiutor Laborantium, Irish, 6th century
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
- Colossians 3.23, 24
In the Kingdom of God there are no small callings; likewise, there is no small amount of work to do in bringing the goodness, order, and fruitfulness of God to His creation. Every believer has something to bestow toward the progress of the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Our Celtic Christian forebears can teach us how to make the most of whatever the Lord has invested in us for the work we’ve been given to do.
All who follow Jesus are co-workers with Him, whether they be preachers or parents, missionaries or masons, evangelists or educators, theologians or homemakers. All believers are workers in the Kingdom of heaven, laboring together to further the rule and blessings of Jesus on earth, and pointing the way through our labors to the coming of God’s eternal city. The work any of us has been given to do is greater than the job at which we work. All our work in all the time of our lives is a labor of bringing into visible expression the invisible Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18).
Colum and other Celtic saints understood that we need God’s help in all our work, since all our work must work together to advance the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. We should bring our work to Jesus each day (Matt. 14.18, 19), that He may sanctify and empower our work, and use it for His glory in extending truth, grace, and peace to the present world.
We may regard our work as lowly and unimportant; but give it to Jesus, and He will raise it up, sanctify it, and glorify Himself through it.
Life in the Kingdom is hard work. If we don’t expect to be stretched, depleted, tried, and exhausted as followers of Christ, then we’re not truly following Him Who endured so much suffering that we might be saved. As followers of Jesus, we are “rowing through the infinite storm of this age,” and there are many obstacles to overcome and trials to endure. But the Lord, the “Helper of Laborers” (Adiutor Laborantium) can carry us through and draw us after Himself as He leads us ever forward in seeking the Kingdom of God.
Doing all our work as unto the Lord requires that we commit our time to the Lord in prayer, waiting on Him to show us our work for the coming day and to prepare us to know and glorify Him in it (Ps. 90.12, 16, 17). By remaining focused on Jesus as we do our work, whatever that work may be, we can find joy in our work and refract the glory we see in Jesus’ face in even the most ordinary everyday tasks (2 Cor. 4.6; 1 Cor. 10.31). We should strive for excellence in all our work, offering every task to the Lord as a spotless offering, pleasing in His sight. And we should encourage our fellow believers in their work, so that they see their callings, however seemingly small, as appointed to them by the Lord and invested with potential for bringing Him glory (Heb. 10.24).
By our work the Lord will make Himself known, establish His rule and economy, and draw us onward through struggle and trial toward our eternal dwelling with Him. Celtic Christians endured many hardships as they worked for revival, renewal, and awakening in their day. They called upon the Helper of Laborers for aid in all the work they’d been given to do, and they midwifed a revival that lasted four centuries.
We should follow their example and do all our work as unto the Lord. Thus may we hope to realize progress in seeking and advancing the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we strive to bring restoring grace and truth to this present world by all the work we’ve been given to do.
Psalm 145.10-14, 18-21 (Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, Lord.
Your reign we bless without restraint; Your power fills our words.
Our children we shall educate in all Your splendor, Lord.
Your Kingdom evermore shall be; You reign forever, Lord!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The falling You uphold and the oppressed You rescue, Lord!
Be near to all who call on You; all those who fear You bless.
Preserve all those whose love is true; save us in our distress.
Our mouths will speak with praise of You; Your holy Name we’ll bless!
Lord, show me my work for this day, and help me to take it up so that…
Your prayers and gifts
We depend on the Lord to meet the needs of The Fellowship of Ailbe. This means we come to Him daily, asking for His help in giving us wisdom to know His will, strength and skill to do it, and the resources we require for each day. As for this last, we understand that God intends to support our ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it (Ps. 20.1-3; Rom. 15.26, 27; Gal. 6.6).
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T. M. Moore, Principal
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.
Clancy and Márkus, p. 73.