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

How Much?

Whom will you bless today?

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

- Matthew 10.37

His mother in anguish begged him not to leave her...He begged his mother, who placed herself in his way and held the door, to let him go. Weeping and stretched upon the floor, she said she would not permit it. Then he stepped across the threshold and asked his mother not to give way to her grief; she would never see him again in this life...

- Jonas, Life of Columbanus, Irish, 7th century

Thus began the ministry of the greatest of the Irish peregrini, Columbanus. His sense of God’s call upon his life was so strong, that not even his mother’s dramatic, fervent pleading could keep him from leaving for Lough Erne, where he would prepare for the ministry under the tutelage of Sinell, a disciple of the great Comghall. 

I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Columbanus literally to step over his mother’s prostrate form in order to follow the Lord. For most of us, the decisions about whether or not to obey the Lord and follow His leading are never so demanding. In fact, we’re so used to preferring almost anything else to giving ourselves wholly and without reservation to the Lord, that we hardly every think about it.

How much do we love Jesus? Every day God is calling us to follow Him in acts of faithful obedience: a word of witness here, more time spent in prayer and meditation, more generous giving of our time and treasure, a simple act of kindness or an edifying word. But we love our presumed safety and security more than the risk of a word fitly spoken. We cherish our comfort and ease too much to pare back our lifestyle or commit to some new work of service. Our sleep means more to us than rising an hour earlier in order to be in the presence of our Lord. 

Whatever we love more than Jesus – whatever keeps us from Him or from obeying Him – is nothing more or less than an idol.

Columbanus took Jesus’ words literally, and, oh, what a price of pain and weeping he paid. But how many lost souls and eager disciples would come to know the blessing and power of the Lord because of that young man’s obedience!

Who will be blessed – or not – because of our response today?

Psalm  86.10-12 (Andrews: “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven”)
For You are great, You wondrous deeds do; You are the only and sovereign Lord.
Teach me Your way, let me give heed to, with all my heart, Savior, all Your Word!
Lord be gracious to me; Lord, be gracious to me: Praise Your name forever, Lord!

Lord Jesus, help me today to love You supremely, and to stay close to You, so that You might minister to others through me. Adapted from Rule of Comghall

T. M. Moore, Principal
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[1] Jonas, p. 15.

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 the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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