Personal Mission Field/Boasting in the Lord
And these clerks began their preaching, and they had fair Latin books with them, and they recited their reading clearly, and praised the Creator fervently. And it was recreation of mind and heart to the hosts to listen to them. And those who had never thought of God before, turned their thoughts to him now.
- Anonymous, The Life of Colman Ela (17th century, from an earlier ms.)
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God...
- 1 Thessalonians 1.9
The Gospel spread quickly throughout 7th century Ireland, largely by the efforts of faithful monks ("clerks") who went among people to whom the name of God was entirely foreign, and read from Scripture and preached with all their heart, praising the Lord as they did.
This excerpt from the life of Colman Ela gives us a glimpse of young pastors boldly going before complete strangers - people who had not so much as heard the name of God - and by their fervor and friendliness, leading lost pagans to Christ.
Ireland was the Personal Mission Field of the first two generations of Celtic Christian pastors after Patrick, and they were determined to take up his mantel until all Ireland was boasting in the Lord. Paul made that one of the primary objectives of his own ministry - to increase boasting in the Lord (2 Cor. 10.13-18) - and one of the best ways to do that is win people to Christ and fold them into a church. The first generations of Celtic pastors were remarkably faithful in this effort, and God blessed their labors with an abundant harvest.
We've kind of lost sight of this high calling in our day. Which of us knows a pastor - any pastor - for whom regular work of evangelism among lost strangers is an important part of his ministry? Which of us, as well, is as faithful in bringing the people in our own mission fields to the place of boasting in the Lord with us?
We have to recover our sense of mission, this high calling to evangelize the lost. Whatever it is we're doing in the name of reaching the lost isn't working. And what we've chosen not to do - go actively and consistently to the lost to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom - is the thing God commands us to as His ambassadors and servants.
When will we take up this work of evangelism again? The sooner we do, the sooner God's Name will be lifted in praise throughout the communities of our land.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Is there hope for American education? Michelle Rhee thinks so. See what she's up to in today's ReVision.
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