And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and affliction among the people.
- Matthew 4.23
Everywhere that he went the noble man preached the Gospel. And it pleased the people because his teaching was adorned by eloquence and enforced by examples of virtue.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
Jesus’ approach to making known the Good News of the Kingdom of God was to live it and to proclaim it.
The coming of the Kingdom brought a new reality to human experience, with new power, new focus, new resources, and new hope. It is not enough merely to explain this to people; they have to see it, experience it, taste and see that the Lord and His Kingdom are good.
When Columbanus arrived in Gaul (France) in 585 AD, where the faith of Christ was languishing, he went all about preaching the Gospel with clarity and eloquence and, together with his small band of monks, doing good to everyone they could.
The combination of clear and compelling preaching and undeniable power in loving was persuasive. People flocked to Columbanus by the thousands. He founded one monastery to train missionary/monks, and it soon overflowed, leading him to found another.
People are drawn by the Gospel when they can both see and hear it. Neither alone is sufficient, as Jesus demonstrated in His own ministry.
Churches must labor to show themselves servants to their communities, reaching out in Kingdom love and power to meet people at the point of their need and alleviate their suffering and want. And they must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, Good News that begins in repentance, calls for faith, and issues in hope and a transformed life.
The same is true of each of us, in our own Personal Mission Field. We must live the new reality of Christ’s Kingdom, so that, when we proclaim it, our lives will bear testimony to the truth of what we preach.
Our generation is tired of Christians who merely talk a good game. Talk without works of love will not persuade. Works of love without Kingdom proclamation will only deceive. Both are needed, as Jesus demonstrated, and Columbanus knew.
If we ever find a way to get back to a Gospel of word and deed, we might once again begin to make some headway for the Kingdom among the people of our generation.
Psalm 26.1-3 (Aberystwythe: “Jesus, Love of My Soul”)
Vindicate me, Lord on high; I have walked within Your Word.
Never wav’ring, though I sigh, I have trusted You, O Lord!
Prove me, Lord, prove even me! Test my heart and try my mind.
Let Your steadfast mercy be in the path for me to find.
Lord, show me what I must do in order to live and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus.
T. M. Moore, Principal