The Saviour has, for his merits, exalted him as pontiff,/that he may instruct the clerics in celestial warfare,/giving them heavenly food and clothing/filled full of divine and holy speeches.
- Sechnall, Audite Omnes Amantes (Irish, 5th century)
...so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
- Isaiah 55.11
One of the many accomplishments of Patrick was to train up the first Irish clergy to serve the many new churches founded under his ministry. Patrick became bishop ("pontiff") to all the Irish clergy, many of whom he'd led to the Lord Himself. Sechnall tells us that he taught them how to fight the good fight and clothed them with the will of God and the righteousness of Jesus - and many "divine and holy speeches."
Something about that last phrase excites me. How many words did you speak last year? A hundred thousand? Four hundred thousand? Ten million? Of how many of those can you be absolutely confident that they contained the Word of God and thus were sent out by Him to accomplish some divine and holy purpose?
Before you begin lamenting about the year gone by, what about the year to come? Will you trust God to equip you with many "divine and holy speeches" in the year ahead? To use you as His witness? To send His life-giving Word out to a dark and dying age in every conversation, every email, every opportunity you have to engage with someone else using the gift of speech?
The divine and holy speeches which Patrick taught and nurtured his preachers to give laid the foundation for a revival that lasted nearly four centuries. Patrick inspired his followers to be bold in their faith and courageous in their witness. They didn't worry about what they would eat or drink, how they'd be clothed, or whether the people to whom they bore witness might not just take their lives. They simply offered themselves and their tongues to God, and divine and holy speeches flowed like rivers of living water, bringing life and refreshment to all who heard.
Let's make this a year of divine and holy speeches, shall we? I would love to hear from you stories about how God is using your witness, opportunities you've had to share a word of testimony, or situations in which suddenly the Spirit was speaking through you a divine and holy speech with power from beyond this world.
Pray for me, for yourself, and for your fellow believers, that God will be pleased to send His Word out through us in the year to come, and that we will do whatever it takes to prepare and avail ourselves for many, many divine and holy speeches in the year ahead.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
ReVision - Work, Rest, and Prayer. Scripture teaches it, now science confirms it. Surprise, surprise.
Scriptorium - Patrick offers us lesson about prayer and seeking the Lord.
Kingdom Civics - What difference should the Gospel of the Kingdom make in our lives, cultures, and times?
Thanks to all of you who are making year-end gifts to The Fellowship of Ailbe. Your support is a great help and encouragement to our effort. You can use the donate button here or at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.