This month on we will celebrate a major festival on 3 consecutive Sundays here at Saint Columba’s. The first is our Patronal, which we will keep on Sunday, 2 June. On that day we will offer our thanks to God for his servant Columba of Iona. We know from the writings of his earliest biographer, Adomnan of Iona, that Columba was a man of great energy, faith and vision. There are accounts of many fantastic miracles performed throughout his life (including an encounter with the Loch Ness monster!) and of his missionary activities to the Picts of northern Scotland.
But we do not keep the feast of Columba as an interesting exploration of a figure from our land’s ancient history. We keep it in the context of the Eucharist – that celebration at the heart Church’s of the life. The Eucharist draws us into the timeless life of God. In doing so, we realise our connectedness to Columba and to all people of Christian faith throughout all places and all ages.
The keeping of our Patronal Festival can, if properly kept, draw us toward the same power that influenced the saints of old. This living and dynamic power was first revealed in abundance at the birth of the Church, on the feast of Pentecost, when God the Holy Spirit descended on the gathered disciples of Jesus. This gift of the Holy Spirit emboldened them to go out into the streets and into the wide world to proclaim, by word and deed, something of God’s great love for us in his Son Jesus Christ.
The feast of the Holy Trinity, which we will keep on Sunday 16 June, develops that experience into a doctrine which relates to us something of how God is in himself; that God is our Creator (The Father), our Saviour (Jesus, God the Son) and that God is within us to guide and to strengthen and inspire us (God the Holy Spirit).
May the same holy and life-giving Spirit, that inspired Columba to live out the gospel in his day and generation, be with us all that we too may live and work to God’s praise and glory.
Yours in the faith,