I have been invited to go into the new Largs Primary School later this week. Together with a fellow chaplain, I have been asked to offer a lesson to a Primary 7 Class on ‘Notable Christians’. My colleague contacted me to ask who I might chose to speak about – he had already made his decision – Billy Graham. My choice took little effort – Saint Columba!
This month our congregation, once more, celebrates the life, work and witness of our Patron; Columba of Iona. It is not simply for this reason that I have chosen him as a ‘notable Christian’ to about speak to the class at school. It is not even that he is apparently so important that, even in a small town like Largs two congregations of differing denominations bear his name. No. I have chosen to speak about Saint Columba because he is a good example of what it is to be a Christian – of a life that was offered entirely to God and lived for the blessing of others.
The life of this ancient Celtic Saint is worth reflecting on. A very human life – one that knew its share of mistakes and yet one that was open to the possibility that God could take him and use him for a great purpose.
It was because of God’s love that Columba was willing to leave all that was comfortable and familiar and venture off into the unknown. Inspired by God’s love, he was empowered to be generous and to take risks.
Ultimately, because Columba put himself at God’s disposal, Scotland itself became transformed as thousands were baptised into the new Christian life and faith … and the rest is history!
Encouraged, then, by his example, strengthened by his fellowship, aided by his prayers, let us, like Columba of old, also put ourselves at God’s disposal and be used by him to change the world.
Yours in the faith,