Modesty and moderation, meekness and mildness adorned them all in equal measure. The evils of sloth and dissension were banned. Pride and haughtiness were expiated by severe punishments. Scorn and envy were driven out by faithful diligence. So great was the might of their patience, love and mildness that no one could doubt that the God of mercy dwelt among them.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
- Acts 6.7
The church in Jerusalem, thousands strong and growing, was ready to break apart across any number of fissures – economic, racial, traditional. A segment of their community was being overlooked, passed by in the daily ministrations; discontent was rising; something needed to be done.
The problem was brought to the attention of the disciples; and the community, guided by wise and patient shepherds, managed to resolve their differences with such harmony and love, that the people of Jerusalem could only marvel and long to unite with them – even those who had been enemies of the Gospel.
Remember: that “great many of the priests” had heard Jesus, heard the apostles, and listened with disapproval to their former synagogue members, as they explained why they were leaving. But when they saw the lived reality of thousands of disparate individuals working together to care for one another in love, the reality of the faith and resurrection of Christ broke through their hardened souls.
Don’t you long to be part of a community like that? Where is that kind of self-denying, others-serving love to be found in our world today, if not among the followers of Jesus Christ?
Columbanus and his band of disciples presented a similar view of community to the lawless people of Gaul. Wherever they went, their resolute morality, earnest spirituality, fervent preaching, and determined way of caring for and edifying one another made a powerful impression on lapsed believers and pagans alike.
The power of holiness, love, and mission fervor that people saw in Columbanus and his band – lives lived well – made the message they proclaimed a real and viable alternative to the tedious and uncertain existence so many knew in that day.
Why should it not be so in our own day? Surely, if more sincere love of neighbor existed in our world, less anger, resentment, violence, and fear would stalk our cities.
Jesus called us first to “be” witnesses before we go out in His Name to “do” witness-bearing (Acts 1.8). This is key to effectiveness in your Personal Mission Field. It’s also the key to The Ailbe Community becoming a movement to reinvigorate churches all around the country and the world.
The harder we work at holiness, love, and mutual edification, the more powerful will be the message we proclaim.
People are looking for real-live examples of a lifestyle that really matters. Shall we show it to them?
1. To whom is God sending you as His ambassador today? How will you show them the love of Jesus?
2. What can you do to make sure that increasing in love for God and neighbors is the fruit of your daily time with the Lord?
Psalm 116.7-14 (Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God Who Reigns Above)
Full well the Lord has dealt with me; my soul from death He delivered.
My weeping eyes, my stumbling feet, He has redeemed forever.
Forever I before His face shall walk with those who know His grace,
and dwell with them forever.
Afflicted, I believed His Word, though lying men would undo me.
What shall I render to the Lord for all His blessings to me?
Salvation’s cup I lift above and call upon the God of love
and pay my vows most truly.
Use me, Lord, to show the love of Jesus as I…
How can you love God more?
Your prayers and support
It is our privilege to serve you, and our joy to have you share with us in this work. The Lord supports our work through the prayerful and generous gifts of those who share our vision and are served by our ministry. Please join us in praising Him for His kindness in supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe. I ask you to seek Him in prayer, and ask Him whether He might be pleased to use you in the financial support of our work. You can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Jonas, pp. 20, 21.