Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Crosfigell

Living and Active

We need a revival of preaching in the Church today

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword...

   - Hebrews 4.12

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.

   - Life of Colman Ela, Irish, 17th century from an earlier ms.

We can make a couple of observations here about the preaching of 6th century Celtic missionaries. 

First, it was clear and fervent. This is evident both in the description of their delivery and the response of those who heard them. Second, their preaching was based on the Latin text of the Bible – probably their own hand-made copies, transcribed for use in ministry. We can be sure that they had spent much time in the Word and were well prepared for this labor. Third, preaching consisted of a combination of impassioned reading, praise to God, and instruction to the hearts and minds of the hearers. 

This is the kind of preaching that looses the living and active Word to impact lives. No jokes, stories, or skits. No gimmicks. No impressive, detailed explanations of subtle word usages or nuances of grammar. Reading, praising, explaining with clarity and fervor. No wonder those Celtic pagans who heard this preaching turned their thoughts to God.

We need a revival of preaching in the Church today, preaching that floods the mind with clear expositions of Biblical texts and teaching, and that stabs at the heart to lay it bear before the searching Spirit of God. This kind of preaching requires courage, for it will not be popular with the masses, who prefer entertainment to transformation. But it will be blessed of God if it is grounded in prayer and proclaimed with love. 

Only the Word of God can bring life to lost sinners. Only the living and active Word of God can awaken slumbering saints, bring them to true repentance, and equip them for every good work. Let us pray that God will move in the hearts of preachers all over this land to recover the ministry of proclaiming God’s Word with clarity and fervor.

Then we will see what God can do.

Psalm 25.4-7 (Festal Song: “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”)
Make me to know Your ways, teach me Your paths, O Lord!
My Savior, all day long I wait and seek You in Your Word.

Remember mercy, Lord, and steadfast love to me!
And all my sins before You let them not remembered be!

Lord, raise up faithful ministers of the Word, preachers who, like Patrick will proclaim the Gospel, investing the Word in the people the serve, and demanding obedience as the proper return to the Lord. Adapted from Audite Omnes Amantes

T. M. Moore, Principal
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[1] Plummer, p. 163.

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

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