Word and Deed

Our witness is with both.

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.

  - Domnach Sechnall, Audite Omnes Amantes, Irish, 5th century[1]

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

Sechnall was writing about Patrick, celebrating and 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.

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, so I send 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.

Patrick’s mission to Ireland succeeded in large part because he kept such a good balance between these two forms of witness. He taught people literacy, advised rulers, cared for the sick and outcast, showed mercy to the downtrodden, purchased slaves out of captivity, 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.

If you have mapped out your Personal Mission Field, you’ve made a good start. From here you can begin to know and care for the people you encounter each day, and 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?

We are The Ailbe Community. You are part of this growing effort. What distinguishes us as such, other than that many of us read this twice-weekly teaching letter? Should we not strive together for something more lasting?

We have 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.

For Reflection
1. If you have not already, watch this brief video (click here), download the worksheet, and map out your Personal Mission Field.

2. Join us each week for the Personal Mission Field Workshop. I’ll be sharing ideas, challenges, and resources to help you be a Kingdom keystone in your daily life. You can listen to our first Workshop by clicking here.

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, and to speak and do for others what You Yourself would.

The Ailbe Podcast
Have you discovered The Ailbe Podcast yet? Get to know our ministry and those who make it happen, and discover ways you can grow in your walk with and work for the Lord. Click here to listen to the current installment, then forward the link to a friend.

A call to prayer for September

We are asking all of you in The Ailbe Community – all who read or use any of our resources – to make a special, daily focus in prayer, that God would move the hearts of many to share in the financial needs of this ministry. 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 throughout the month of September, as we ask the Lord to move and enable more of those who benefit from this ministry to share in our financial needs. If the Lord moves you to give, 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
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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.



[1] Carey, p. 153.

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.
Books by T. M. Moore