Tonight dined on delicious roast lamb up at college courtesy of our college chaplain, before hearing Gavin Wakefield from Cranmer speak about Aidan, after whom my college was named, and mission. In Bible language Aidan was a saint, just like you and me, but he wasn’t an apostle, despite Bishop Lightfoot of Durham once calling him the ‘Apostle to the English’.
Nevertheless it was really interesting to learn a little about a man who probably played quite a big role in God’s plan of taking the gospel to all nations, namely north England. One of the characteristics of Aidan that Wakefield highlighted was his ‘passion for God’, and I suppose it is this that has a domino-effect on everything else. He left Ireland and spent the second half of his life, in the seventh-century, wandering round Northumbria encouraging Christians, and calling on pagans to get baptised.
It made me realise how little I know of post-early-church, pre-Reformation church history, particularly in the UK. There must be so many men and women of faith who’ll be in the new creation that played their part in God’s plan. I hope some day to be counted with them, for his glory’s sake!
One other thing about Aidan that stuck out was his humility and equality in viewing other humans – Wakefield made a great deal of his character. Often I can get worried about my doctrine, how this or that works, how we do evangelism, etc, I long for my character to be shaped.
Also: chats about the C of E, life as an ordinand, and limited atonement…