And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
- Acts 6.7
Modesty and moderation, meekness and mildness adorned them all in equal measure. The evils of sloth and dissension were banned. Pride and haughtiness were expiated by severe punishments. Scorn and envy were driven out by faithful diligence. So great was the might of their patience, love and mildness that no one could doubt that the God of mercy dwelt among them.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
Here was a church ready to break apart across any number of fissures – economic, racial, traditional.
Yet, guided by wise and patient shepherds, they managed to resolve their differences with such harmony and love, that the people of Jerusalem could only marvel and long to be a part of their community of faith.
Remember: that great company of priests had heard Jesus, heard the apostles, listened to their former synagogue members explain why they were leaving; but only when they saw the lived reality of thousands of disparate individuals working together to care for one another in love, only then did the reality of the faith break through their hardened souls.
The same was true of Columbanus and his band of disciples. Wherever they went their resolute morality, earnest spirituality, fervent preaching, and determined way of caring for and edifying one another made a powerful impression on lapsed believers and pagans alike.
The power of holiness, love, and mission fervor that people saw in Columbanus and his band made the message they proclaimed a real and viable alternative to the ho-hum existence so many knew. Why should it not be so in our own day?
Jesus called us first to “be” witnesses before we go out in His Name to “do” witness-bearing (Acts 1.8). The harder we work at holiness, love, and mutual edification, the more powerful will be the message we proclaim.
People are looking for real-live examples of a lifestyle that really matters.
Shall we show it to them? Today, open the floodgates of righteousness, peace, and joy into your Personal Mission Field, and watch as the Spirit does His surprising work through the power of your example.
Psalm 101.3-5 (Jesus, I Come: “Out of My Bondage, Sorrow, and Night”)
I will the works of wicked men scorn: Praise to You, Lord! Praise to You, Lord!
They shall not grip me, evening or morn: Praise to You, holy Lord!
Separate ev’ry sin from my heart; slanderers all from me shall depart.
I will not suffer pride in my heart: Praise to You, holy Lord!
Use me, Lord, to help build a community and network of people committed to living for You and proclaiming You to the world.
Thinking about worldview..
Be sure to visit the website this week for all kinds of fresh worldview insights. In our In the Gates column we'll be looking at the teaching of God's Law concerning immigrants and immigation. My The Week blogs return with lots of insights to the vision, disciplines, and outcomes that make up any worldview. And, at the website, scroll down to the bottom and watch the first video from this year's Pastors' Fellowship for an overview of the dimensions of Christian worldview.
Be sure to forward this issue to a friend and encourage him to visit our website and sign-up to receive Crosfigell three times a week. Help us grow our outreach and build-up The Ailbe Community. And thanks for your gifts and prayers to our ministry: The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Dr., Essex Junction, VT 05452.
T. M. Moore, Principal