PRAY AND GO!
This week is Missions emphasis at Trinity where Paul and I serve! That means we will be hearing from missionaries throughout the week. It is such an exciting time as we listen to men and women who have sacrificed so much to take the life-changing message of Jesus to other nations.
One of the most remarkable missionary movements in history is the one that was founded by Patrick. He was neither Irish nor Catholic as we are prone to think, but he did take the gospel to the Irish people. His conversion was remarkable and ultimately led to a movement that saw the gospel flourish in the west.
There was a slogan that defined the community to which he, Aidan, Brendan and other great monks belonged. It was simply, “the cell and the coracle.” Let me explain.
· The “cell’ was at the heart of the community of these monastics and was a place where they spent many hours in contemplative prayer. It was in the ‘cell’ that their deep commitment and love for God grew and their desire to impact his world flourished in their hearts.
· The “coracle” was simply a round, keelless, flat-bottomed boat made from woven wood, covered in vellum and waterproofed with pitch. Every member of this community was committed to prayer, but there was a further expectation placed on them – they had to have a commitment to evangelize the British Isles and Europe. One of the brave things the Celts did, was four of them would get into a coracle and pray: ‘Lord of the wind and the waves, take us your servants to where you will’. Then, they would push out and in simple childlike faith believe that God would take them where he wanted them to go and spread His gospel. Wow! What confidence they exhibited in God. Is it any wonder that the Celtic movement saw most of Western Europe evangelized in one of the very dark periods of church history?
So how should this period of history impact us today? I believe that if we can develop three aspects of our lives we can and will see the gospel flourish in the 21st century.
· A call to prayer: We need to find time, in our fast paced 21st century lives, to retreat and pray. If we are too busy to pray then we are simply too busy! Prayer is foundational to the success of the gospel.
· A call to faith: We may perceive these monks to be foolish in their resolve to 'throw caution to the wind' and set out to a new land in what appeared to be 'blind faith'. However, I think their faith and trust in God developed in the ‘cell’ and it was there that their passion to spread the gospel grew. It was out of this passion that they ‘threw caution to the wind’ and with abandonment cried out, “Take me where your Spirit leads me.” Wow! My prayer is that we will see those kinds of students at Trinity. Abandoned to the cause of Jesus.
· A call to adventure: I don’t think these monks had a boring bone in their bodies. They were ready for an adventure. I love it! When you are a committed Christ follower you are ready to do His bidding. A life of followership is the most exciting, exhilarating life you can ever live. I committed my life to Jesus at 13 years of age and my life has been the most phenomenal adventure. Yes, there have been challenges and trials, but it has been worth it all! I have not regretted one of the days of my life since I committed it completely to Jesus.
As we start our Missions week I am praying that more Patrick's’ and Aidan’s and Brendan’s will arise. I am dreaming of the day when scores of Trinity students will push out from the shores and with adventuresome abandonment touch the world with the amazing, transforming message of Jesus.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,