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

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

Servants of God's Servants

May/Discipline

19 May 2010

"And the first day that I came here there came to me an animal, called otter, and brought me a fish, and a hearth-flint to make a fire withal...And the same messenger would come to me every third day with this refection..."

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.

- Psalm 119.90, 91

In Ephesians 1.22, 23 Paul wrote that God is putting all things - all of creation - under the feet of our exalted Savior and King, for the sake of the Church. Creation in all its variety, abundance, and beauty is given to Christ for His purposes in building and blessing His people.

Celtic Christians understood this, and the literature from that period includes many stories like the one introduced above. Brendan and his company met a hermit on a desolate island, who explained to them his experience with the otter which kept him alive until he could begin to care for himself.

Such accounts may have an element of truth in them; mainly, however, they seem to be vehicles for explaining the Celtic love of creation and their awareness of the sovereignty of God, Who supplied all their needs through the creation and its riches. Especially in certain of the poetry of this period does this fascination with, wonder about, and love for the creation come to the fore. It's beautiful to read.

We must not take the creation for granted. Creation-keeping and creational theology are important disciplines for the life of faith. God has put at Jesus' disposal all the wealth of the whole cosmos to care for His people as they pursue His work. Just as the hermit found creation sufficient and timely to meet his needs, so we do as well today. Do we take the time to appreciate the intricacies of God's gracious provision? And do we thank and praise Him for all the servants of His servants which He sends our way each day?

Today in ReVision: In, During - Whatever - Words matter, or, at least, they should.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - Updated and revised, get it while you can.

New at the book store is our leadership workshop, Elders, Deacons: Shepherds. Here on a single CD is a complete workshop - PowerPoint presentations, leader's and participants' guides, other resources - which you can use to teach your officers and leaders how to do the work of shepherding. Check it out under leadership training resources.

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Good to Be Here

May 20, 2010

Good to Be Here

May/Discipline

20 May 2010

One day when Brendan and his company were traversing and searching the sea, they happened upon the little country which they had been seeking for seven years, to wit, the Land of Promise; as it says in the proverb, "He that seeketh findeth."

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good that we are here..."

- Matthew 17.4

I'll say it is; it is good, very good to encounter the Lord Jesus in His glory. Like Peter and the others did. Like Paul did on the Damascus road and at other times. Like Stephen and John. The Holy Spirit of God dearly desires to bring each of us, with increasing regularity, into the very presence of the glory of God - the vision of Jesus Christ exalted - and there to transform us in His very image (2 Cor. 2.12-18).

Brendan and his company finally achieved the beatific vision, as symbolized in The Promised Land of the Saints. Note a few things: first, it took seven years of many trials, wrong turns, and failings. This vision is real and attainable, but we must be willing to work at it day by day, setting or fixing our minds on the heavenly things, until they flash out real and glorious to us (Col. 3.1-3). Second, they happened on this vision suddenly, almost unexpectedly. For only God can show us this vision, and He does so at His pleasure. But the more we seek Him in His Word and plead with Him prayer, devoting ourselves to meditation and waiting, the greater is the likelihood that God will bring us to this glorious vision, not once, but often.

Third, Brendan and his companions had a guide to show them around, "a certain elder", the text explains, who greeted them, told them where they were, and helped them to enjoy the place. Celtic Christians knew the value of Church history and the counsel of those who had gone before. They read the Fathers of the Church and sought from them wisdom and counsel in seeking and serving the Lord, and they found it regularly. In addition to these we have a powerful legacy of artists, poets, and composers to usher us into the presence of Christ and His glory. We ignore our forebears in the faith to our great loss.

Christ is exalted in glory and we, with the eye of the heart (Eph. 1.15-23), can see into that realm. If we want to. Do you?

Today in ReVision: In, During - Whatever

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

Our book store has resources to aid you in various aspects of the life of faith. Check it out.

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Search and See

May 21, 2010

Search and See

May/Discipline

21 May 2010

When they came to land, each of them kissed the other, and the elder wept greatly for his exceeding joy. "Search and see," said he, "the borders and regions of Paradise, where will be found health without sickness, pleasure without contention, union without quarrel, dominion without interruption, attendance of angels, feasting without diminution, meadows sweet in scent as fair blessed flowers."

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven...

- 2 Corinthians 12.2

It's surprising how many places in Scripture give us a glimpse into the unseen realm where Christ rules at the right hand of God. The psalms, of course (2, 9, 35, 45, 47, 110, etc.) and many places in the prophets pull back the veil that separates time from eternity, giving us a look at the realities that are really there.

Revelation also provides many glorious insights - chapters 1, 4, 5, 14 especially, but throughout as well. In these many glimpses into the unseen realm we see Christ on His throne beside the brilliance of His Father. We see what He's wearing and smell the fragrance of His robes. We hear the sweet music He enjoys and observe angels and the "seven-fold" Spirit of God attending to His every command. The departed saints, still awaiting their bodies at the resurrection, are also there, and they are filled with joy as they sing praises to the Lord and bear our prayers before Him on our behalf.

Is this what the unseen realm is really like? It is the way God wants us to think about it, and with so many places in Scripture revealing a portion of the landscape of unseen things, and the promise that there, in the presence of the Lord, is fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore, I can only wonder why more of the followers of Christ don't betake themselves there more often.

Paul said that looking attentively on unseen things, gazing with the eye of the heart into realms we know of only by the Word of God, is the way to find stability and strength in this woeful world, and the place to go to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Brendan and his companions found their way there, and the story means for us to understand that the experience remained with them always.

Do you believe these things are real? And that you, by discipline, can find your way into the presence of unspeakable glory? You can. You should. Search and see.

Today in ReVision: Whose Kids? Government can't educate our children, and we shouldn't let it.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - If you are not a disciplined person, here's a very good, and very free, place to start.

In our bookstore you can purchase The Legacy of Patrick and learn about the impact of this man's life for centuries after his death.

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Make Your Confession

May/Discipline

24 May 2010

Brigit said to Brendan: "Make thy confession." "I declare," said he, "that I never crossed seven furrows without turning my mind to God. Make thy confession," said Brendan. "I confess," said Brigit, "that since I first fixed my mind on God, I have never taken it off, and never will, till doom."

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

- Colossians 3.1, 2

Brendan came to Brigit - the great 6th century Irish saint - seeking counsel whether there might be some sin in his life. An earlier incident in which he had responded in a wrathful manner was troubling him, and he needed to clear his conscience. He had met with the elders of Ireland, and they had searched the Scriptures together. He'd gone to Britain to meet with the great Gildas. Now, returning to Ireland, he sought the advice of Brigit.

When she asked him for his "confession" she probably meant something like, "Give me a quick summary, in your best way, of your walk with the Lord." Brendan's reply indicated that he didn't go very long in a day without thinking about the Lord (think of how long it takes to walk across seven furrows of newly-plowed ground). Brendan sought the same of Brigit, whose reply must have come as an indictment to the Navigator. She never let her mind drift from the Lord.

Brigid seems to have been saying - poetically, "at a slant", as Emily Dickinson would say - that if there was a sin in Brendan's life it wasn't to be found in the incident that was troubling him. It was to be found in his not setting his mind at all times on the things that are above, which, doubtless, was the cause of his earlier misconduct and, now, of his troubled soul.

What do we think? Does Paul mean it? Set your mind on the things that are above? Not just occasionally, but always, in every situation, in the midst of every task, having as the backdrop of all our thinking and doing the exalted figure of Jesus, reigning in glory, giving direction to our lives? Brendan's sin was a lapse of discipline. Our sin? More of the same.

The disciplined life begins in the presence of Christ, continues in the presence of Christ, and conveys that presence in word and deed at all times. Undoubtedly we are not fixing our minds on Christ as we should; why should it surprise us, then, that our lives are so spiritually shallow, void of power, and lacking in the hope that moves the lost to inquire?

Make your confession: Set your mind - always working harder at doing so - on Jesus.

Today in ReVision: Challenging Settled Assumptions - A lesson from secular economics.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - You really need this if you're going to set your mind on Christ.

The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of joy, as I explain in this week's "Kingdom Civics." For an introduction to Celtic Christianity, order the book, The Legacy of Patrick, from our book store.

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Make Your Confession

May/Discipline

24 May 2010

Brigit said to Brendan: "Make thy confession." "I declare," said he, "that I never crossed seven furrows without turning my mind to God. Make thy confession," said Brendan. "I confess," said Brigit, "that since I first fixed my mind on God, I have never taken it off, and never will, till doom."

- Anonymous, Vita Brendani (Irish, 12th century, from an earlier ms.)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

- Colossians 3.1, 2

Brendan came to Brigit - the great 6th century Irish saint - seeking counsel whether there might be some sin in his life. An earlier incident in which he had responded in a wrathful manner was troubling him, and he needed to clear his conscience. He had met with the elders of Ireland, and they had searched the Scriptures together. He'd gone to Britain to meet with the great Gildas. Now, returning to Ireland, he sought the advice of Brigit.

When she asked him for his "confession" she probably meant something like, "Give me a quick summary, in your best way, of your walk with the Lord." Brendan's reply indicated that he didn't go very long in a day without thinking about the Lord (think of how long it takes to walk across seven furrows of newly-plowed ground). Brendan sought the same of Brigit, whose reply must have come as an indictment to the Navigator. She never let her mind drift from the Lord.

Brigid seems to have been saying - poetically, "at a slant", as Emily Dickinson would say - that if there was a sin in Brendan's life it wasn't to be found in the incident that was troubling him. It was to be found in his not setting his mind at all times on the things that are above, which, doubtless, was the cause of his earlier misconduct and, now, of his troubled soul.

What do we think? Does Paul mean it? Set your mind on the things that are above? Not just occasionally, but always, in every situation, in the midst of every task, having as the backdrop of all our thinking and doing the exalted figure of Jesus, reigning in glory, giving direction to our lives? Brendan's sin was a lapse of discipline. Our sin? More of the same.

The disciplined life begins in the presence of Christ, continues in the presence of Christ, and conveys that presence in word and deed at all times. Undoubtedly we are not fixing our minds on Christ as we should; why should it surprise us, then, that our lives are so spiritually shallow, void of power, and lacking in the hope that moves the lost to inquire?

Make your confession: Set your mind - always working harder at doing so - on Jesus.

Today in ReVision: Challenging Settled Assumptions - A lesson from secular economics.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - You really need this if you're going to set your mind on Christ.

The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of joy, as I explain in this week's "Kingdom Civics." For an introduction to Celtic Christianity, order the book, The Legacy of Patrick, from our book store.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Direction of Souls

May/Discipline

25 May 2010

This woman therefore grew in exceptional virtues and by the fame of her good deeds drew to herself from all the provinces of Ireland inestimable numbers of people of both sexes...Her concern was to provide for the orderly direction of souls in all things and to care for the churches of the many provinces which were associated with her.

- Cogitosus, Life of St. Brigit (Irish, 7th century)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

- 2 Corinthians 1.3, 4

Brigit, along with Ita, Brendan's foster mother, are the two great women of the Celtic revival. Much of Brigit's story is shrouded in mystery and confused with a per-Christian pagan goddess. Still, there is enough that touches base with history to inform us that she was a remarkable woman.

Her mission was to care for the souls of those in her charge, and she put special emphasis on the importance of each follower of Christ having a soul friend, a person who loved one's soul as much as his own, and who devoted himself to the nurture of his friend's soul through all his days.

Growing in Christ doesn't just happen. It must be deliberately and continuously attended to as an "inside-out" venture in shaping our hearts, minds, and consciences to love Christ supremely. It's good to have others to help us in this project, for, on our own, we are not naturally inclined to growth. But we can know real progress in our souls through a disciplined life of seeking the Lord, particularly when we have a soul friend or two to aid us in the journey.

Soul friends are prayer partners, accountability partners, study mates, collaborators in ministry, and watchers over our souls. By spending time with a soul friend and working toward specific improvements in the soul, in a framework of seeking the Lord through spiritual disciplines, we can make real progress in our Christian life. Brigid once said that a man without a soul friend was like a man without a head - no direction, no accountability, no comfort.

Start with your spouse, then seek out a soul friend of the same sex to help give meaningful direction to your soul. You'll grow more consistently in the Lord - and so will your soul friend.

Today in ReVision: Challenging Settled Assumptions

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

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Practicing Heaven on Earth

May/Discipline

26 May 2010

One day holy Brigit needed to attend a gathering of the people for a compelling practical reason, and she sat in her chariot, which was drawn by two horses. As she sat in the vehicle, she practiced on earth the life of heaven, as was her custom, by contemplative meditation, and prayed to her Lord.

- Cogitosus, LIfe of St. Brigit (Irish, 7th century)

And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

- Acts 6.15

Stephen was a citizen of the Kingdom of God. He is described as having been filled with the Spirit, a man of great reputation, and brandishing the Word of God with power. To many he must have seemed a visitor from another world. More specifically: a citizen of another realm. Which he was.

I'm always struck by Stephen's comment at the moment of his death, about seeing the Lord Jesus "standing" at the right hand of God. I don't think he was surprised to see, with the eye of faith, His exalted Savior and King, reigning at the side of His Father and ours. It was the "standing" part that seems to have surprised him. Perhaps he had not seen that before. Is this the way martyrs are welcomed home?

Like Brigit, Stephen took seriously his citizenship in the Kingdom of heaven, and the discipline of "practicing" the Kingship of Jesus that entailed. He had learned to set his mind on the things that are above, where Christ is seated in the heavenly places (Col. 3.1-3). He was able to view his experiences, and all the happenings of history, from the vantage point of the throne of Christ, where he knew what it is to be seated with Him there (Eph. 2.6). He practiced the life of heaven on earth, and the result was purity of life, power for witness, and courage and grace in the face of life's ultimate threat.

Would you use that phrase - practicing the life of heaven on earth - to describe your own walk with the Lord? Have you learned the disciplines of prayer and meditation well enough to enable you to transcend this mundane realm and walk among saints and angels, in the presence of the God of glory? Would it make a difference if you did?

Today in ReVision: The Limits of Government - The hard reality is setting in, but few believe it.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

Visit our book store to learn more about the life of discipline.

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Recreation of Mind and Heart

May/Discipline

27 May 2010

Colman was brought to them, and he preached to them. And he sent a message to his assisting friends...And these clerks (clerics) 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.

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

When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.

- 1 Samuel 10.10

We'll wrap up this month of hagiography and the life of discipline, with some excerpts from the life of Colman Ela, a 7th century saint of whom little is known outside this excerpt. It's a curious compilation of what seem like historical events, poems, and unlikely associations, for example, with Gregory the Great and Columcille.

But vignettes like the one cited above have the scent of real history, and they give us some insight to the work of ministry in those days. A preacher would go among the pagans, find some receptivity to the Word, and then bring his colleagues along to strike while the iron was hot. It seems that at least of some of their preaching consisted of passionate reading - in translation, we assume - of Latin manuscripts of the Bible, interspersed with brief words of exposition and praise to God.

The power of Scripture is emphasized here. As they preached, God captured the hearts and minds of their audience, so that they became suddenly open to the idea of God and were refreshed by the hearing of His Word. The Word of God is alive and powerful, and, when we let it speak for itself, it can affect people in powerful ways.

These little bands of wandering preachers - "peregrinati" as they were called - recall the schools of prophets from the Old Testament, on which Jesus modeled His own relationship with His disciples. The simple fact is that we are more likely to be consistent and effective in our witness when we're working with like-minded others (which is why Jesus sent His disciples out in twos).

The Lord is ready to refresh the minds and hearts of many lost men and women in our day. His Word is still powerful, even to those whom we might regard as closedin their minds and hardened in their hearts. But it pleases God to minister that Word through faithful witnesses, competent in Scripture, excited about Jesus, clear and cogent in their witness, and willing to be fools for Christ. How about you?

Today in ReVision: The Limits of Government - To the shock and dismay of many, we're discovering that government is not God.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule - Have you worked through these guidelines yet? Hundreds have downloaded this and will be on their way to a more disciplined life. Why not you?

Visit our book store for helpful resources for growth.

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Praying the Psalms

May/Discipline

28 May 2010

When thou recitest thy canonical hours...recite them thyself leisurely...Every verse of them that thou recitest, expound their texts minutely; speak in thine own character exactly, and fix on them thine entire understanding; then thou shalt receive thy request from the King of the stars...

- Anonymous, Life of Colman Eta (Irish, 17th century, from an earlier ms.)

And when they heard it they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them..."

- Acts 4.24

Try this sometime: When you're with a group of Christian friends, say loud enough for all to hear, "Hey, guys, let's sing a little praise to the Lord." Then just start singing, oh, "Amazing Grace." What do you think will happen? Of course, they'll all join in. Why? Because practically every Christian knows at least a little of that song.

So when Peter began to pray from Psalm 146, then Psalm 2, in front of the thousands to whom he and John were giving their report, they all "lifted their voices together" and joined the prayer. How could they do that? Because they had been raised praying the psalms - just as Celtic Christians learned to pray them.

Praying the psalms gives us a rich vocabulary, a wide range of subjects, and a degree of personal involvement in prayer that we can't get on our own. Moreover, letting the psalms be your guide in prayer - all of them, spread out over time - can bring more consistency and reality to your prayers. Christians in every generation have understood that the psalms are God's prayerbook for the Church. In our day we have set these prayers, hymns, and testimonies aside, preferring our prayer lists or, more likely, not to pray at all.

The Christian life requires the discipline of prayer. God has helped us toward attaining this goal by giving us His Psalms for our prayers. Why not take up a few of the ones that are more familiar to you, and begin letting them guide your prayers for a few weeks? Then add to them until, eventually, you're able to pray your way through the whole psalter. You'll find what Christians in every generation have found - here's a discipline of prayer that really gets through to the King of the Stars, and can change your life as a result.

Today in ReVision: Pay for Grades?

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

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Then and There, Here and Now

May/Discipline

31 May 2010

"I think it right," said Columcille, "to tell thee a difficulty of our own." "What is this difficulty?" said Colman, "for there is no one to whom it were more fitting for us to refer any difficulty that we may have, than to thee, for thou art three days of every week in heaven."

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

One thing I have asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

- Psalm 27.4

We will meet Columcille more fully in June, when through him we focus on the life of disciple-making. The incident introduced by the above quote is not relevant to our concern here; the comment about Columcille is. He is said by Colman Ela to have spent three days of every week in heaven.

Now Columcille was a busy man - a scholar, evangelist, advisor to kings, a preacher and teacher to his monks at Iona and, for a time, Derry. How could a man keep up the kind of regimen he did, with the kind of effects he had, if he were not motivated by a larger-than-life vision and carried along by a power far beyond his own strength?

This is the hagiographer's point: Columcille was a man of fervent prayer and fairly constant meditation. He practically lived before the throne of Christ, so thoroughly had he disciplined himself in seeking the Lord and practicing His presence. The vision of Christ exalted and the power of His reign which he gained through that discipline, and the strength of Spirit that flowed to and through him as he took up his daily tasks, enabled Columcille to accomplish much more than all his contemporaries.

That same vision and power is available to us. If, here and now, we would have a clearer understanding of what our lives can be, and how the world can be transformed for righteousness, peace, and joy; and if we would know real spiritual power for working tirelessly toward such improvement in our selves and our times, then we must spend more time, and better time, in the "then and there" - before the throne of King Jesus, praying, meditating, humbling ourselves, and waiting.

Renewed in the presence of Jesus we can gain the kind of vision and power that will allow us to go "exceeding abundantly beyond" whatever we've known before in living for the Kingdom (Eph. 3.20). But we must earnestly desire this, above anything else, or we will never know what God might do through us as we follow Him day by day.

Today in ReVision: Better Railings - God's Law is about to be vindicated for all the world to see.

This Week's Download: A Personal Rule

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Theology in Verse

June 01, 2010

Theology in Verse

June/Training for Mission

1 June 2010

The exalted Creator, Ancient of Days, and Unbegotten One was without a first beginning, or a foundation; He is, and He will be for unending ages. His only-begotten Christ, and the Holy Spirit, are coeternal with Him in the everlasting glory of Godhead. We do not assert that there are three gods, but speak of one God, retaining our faith in the three most glorious Persons.

- Columcille, Altus Prosator (Irish, 6th century)

...and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

- 2 Timothy 2.2

This month we'll be looking at Columcille, the first of the great Irish missionary/monks, founder of the monastery on Iona, off the northwest coast of Scotland. Exiled there for reasons that are still something of a mystery, Columcille became a great evangelist, pastor, and trainer of missionaries.

His core beliefs are captured in the poem, Altus Prosator. It's a powerful poem, set in perfect meter and rhyme (I'm not reproducing that, obviously), and it concisely summarizes the whole of the divine economy and the Christian worldview. Altus Prosator means "Exalted First-Sower," and as God sowed His Word to the world, so would thousands of faithful Celtic missionaries do all over Europe, from training centers such as Iona, Bangor, Clonfert, and Lindisfarne.

But why poetry? Why not a book of theology or a handbook on how to do missions? Columcille knew - as God does - that poetry is much more pleasant to learn (you can reproduce the meter and rhyme scheme of Altus by singing the hymn, "Children of the Heavenly Father). Further, it reaches, transforms, and moves the affections more powefully than narrative. And it can be easily remembered and, so, easily passed along.

We're not much into poetry these days - our loss, alas. The Celtic Christians knew how powerfully poetry can affect us, and they, following the example of Columcille, used it with far-ranging and far-reaching results. In the "Every Thought Captive" column on our website, I'm using heroic couplets to tell the story of Satan's downfall at the hand of Christ (this week's installment: Portent).

We'll be considering several of Columcille's poems this month. I'm putting them together into a little book which will be available at the end of the month. For now, why not email this edition of Crosfigell to a friend, and begin the study together of Altus Prosator? As you can see from this first stanza, Columcille was as solid as the Church Fathers or any Reformer when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity. Can you see the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds in this first stanza, cited above?

Today in ReVision: Better Railings - The Law of God is written on the hearts of all people, as we shall see.

This Week's Download: Faithfulness in Ministry - Pastor, here's a free tool to use in assessing your ministry - if you dare.

Have you read Fault Lines yet? Here are lively poems which carry sound instruction. Visit our book store for your copy. And don't forget to read the "Kingdom Civics" column - Desiring the Kingdom - while you're there.

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He Created Angels

June 02, 2010

He Created Angels

June/Training for Mission

2 June 2010

He created the good Angels...so that the goodness and majesty of the Trinity, in all the largesse of its munificence, might not be idle, but might have heavenly dignities in which, with a potent utterance, it could be mightily manifest.

- Columcille, Altus Prosator (Irish, 6th century)

Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire."

- Hebrews 1.7

Columcille wants us to understand not merely that God created the angels, but why. God's purpose in creating the angels is the same as His purpose in creating all things: that He might manifest His magnificent goodness, munificence, and glory.

Remember, God is altogether holy, lovely and loving, and perfect within Himself. He needs no other creatures, nothing external to Himself. His motive in creating the world - in creating us - could only have been to express His goodness, manifest the wonder of His beauty, and spread His glory among the creatures, that they, too, might share in His being, joy, grandeur, delight, and love.

So Columcille accomplishes two objectives in this second stanza - to assert the reality of angels (very important to Celtic Christians) and to celebrate God's reason for making anything at all. He seems almost to be saying, in response to the hypothetical question, Why am I here?, that God has made us for Himself, to give Himself to us, draw us into Himself, share Himself with us, so that we, in Him, might partake of His being and joy, forever.

This purpose is spread before us every day. God calls us to partake of Him, by clinging to His precious and magnificent promises, realized most fully in Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1.4). If you could really do that today, and every day, wouldn't it be just the most wonderful, most glorious way to live?

Today in ReVision: Engulfed - The President needs our prayers.

This Week's Download: Faithfulness in Ministry- Here's a tool, pastor, to use in evaluating your ministry.

Order your copy of Fault Lines from our book store today.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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