The Celtic Revival: Afterglow (3)
The King over every place, over every height,
named each single constellation:
without doubt, according to due rights,
He named the twelve constellations...
- Saltair na Rann, Irish, 9th-10th century
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
- Psalm 24.1
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
- Psalm 147.4, 5
Celtic Christians found great comfort in the sovereignty of God. Storms could be rising, enemies could be attacking, wrongs and evils of various sorts could be breaking out all around them; still, they found peace in contemplating the greatness of God and His sovereign rule. Knowing He is King over every place and every creature gave them courage to continue seeking and serving Him.
This confidence in the sovereign might and goodness of God carried over into the afterglow of the Celtic Revival and was a source of comfort and hope in this period of pollution and decline.
Our anonymous poet rests in the knowledge that God named the heavens and the earth. God declared His ownership of heaven and earth by naming them, calling them what they are according to His plan, purpose, and pleasure. Adam, following God’s plan and purpose, was charged with naming the creatures. Naming the creatures was the first step in exercising dominion over them – in bringing God’s good and perfect rule to a greater degree of perfection. What Adam named, he assumed responsibility for, that by his labors, God’s already very good work might be extended and even improved.
Celtic Christians had a profound sense of appreciation for the created world. They fully believed God had given it to them to enjoy and to bring out the glory of God in it (Ps. 115.16). They wrote and sang about the creation, carved aspects of it into stone crosses, inked its creatures into illuminated manuscripts, built miracle stories around them, and rejoiced amid the abundance of God’s provision through creation. In all this, Celtic Christians were declaring the entire creation to be God’s gift, which they, receiving, offered up to the Lord in works of art, song, story, stewardship, and worship.
God has assigned to each one of us a portion of His creation, a space, and everything within that space, which He intends us to receive as a gift, work as a steward, and offer back to Him as celebration of His sovereignty, goodness, and glory. The earth is the Lord’s, and He is sovereign over it – the King over every place. And it has pleased Him to assign to you a portion of His creation as a staging-ground for experiencing and advancing His very good rule.
Have you named the part of creation which is your Personal Mission Field? Have you identified the places you are and go, and the people you see there as your mission for the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12)?
Your Personal Mission Field is yours. No one else will work it for you. God has given it to no one else. It will prosper with Kingdom fruit or languish amid the tares of this world according to the measure of your faithfulness. It is your talent to invest, your field to cultivate, your treasure to increase with the coinage of grace and truth. And you have been sent like Jesus to work that Personal Mission Field as unto the Lord, Who is King over all (Jn. 20.21).
God has a purpose in mind for your Personal Mission Field. He intends His Kingdom to advance there (Is. 9.6, 7), His goodness to flourish there (Ps. 27.13), His Son to fill all things there (Eph. 4.10), disciples to be made there (Matt. 28.18-20), kindness to flow there (Eph. 4.32; Jn. 7.37-39), beauty and order and peace and joy to abound there (Rom. 14.17, 18; Ps. 48.1), and His glory to be known there in all things (1 Cor. 10.31; Hab. 2.14).
And He is looking to you for this.
But He has not left you alone for this task. Our great Lord is mighty in power, and He will be with you as you go forth to work His field each day. He has given you His Word to guide you, His Spirit to teach and empower you, brothers and sisters to encourage and equip you, and His Son to shine over and through you.
The King over all places – the King over your place – requires that His servants be faithful (1 Cor. 4.1, 2). A day is coming when, amid much joyous celebration, the saints of God will present to the King all the multiplied talents and abundant fruit that have issued from their labors (Jn. 15.16; Matt. 25.14-30). Let us make sure that our stewardship results in that glorious “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Identify your Personal Mission Field. Name it as such: My Personal Mission Field! Declare it to be your calling within the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then join with Christ in His yoke to plow the ground, sow the furrows, cultivate the fields, and nurture the fruit of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit, as far as your Personal Mission Field extends.
1. What work lies ahead of you today in your Personal Mission Field?
2. How will you prepare for the work now?
Psalm 5.7, 8 (Meirionydd: O Savior, Precious Savior)
O Lord, Your lovingkindness escorts me in this place.
I bow before Your highness and praise Your glorious grace!
In righteous ways You guide me; Your pathway I will know.
No good will be denied me as I with Jesus go.
Lord, help me to receive this gift, to name it as my own, and to serve faithfully under You, my King!
Personal Mission Field
Please watch this brief video (click here). Receive the gift of your Personal Mission Field. Download the worksheet, identify your Personal Mission Field, and name it as your own. Then begin working it, in the strength of our sovereign Lord, with the joy and gladness He will supply.
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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.
 Carey, pp. 104, 105.