“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.”
“All the remaining time of my life I spent in that monastery, wholly applying myself to the study of Scripture, and amidst observance of regular discipline and the daily care of singing in the church. I always took delight in learning, teaching and writing” [St. Bede the Venerable; quotes from The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations, compiled by M. Water (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000)].
Bede the Venerable is commemorated on May 25 in many churches.
Bede was a British monk who lived who died on May 25, 735 AD. He was ahead of his time: Christian biographer James Kiefer said that he was the first person to write scholarly works in the English language. Among his works were the History of the English Church and People, which remains an important account of early English history, and an English translation of the Gospel of John, which he completed on the very day that he died. Kiefer adds that “he was aware that the earth is a sphere, and he is the first historian to date events Anno Domini, and the earliest known writer to state that the solar year is not exactly 365 and a quarter days long, so that the Julian calendar (one leap year every four years) requires some adjusting if the months are not to get out of step with the seasons.” He certainly sounds like he was ahead of his time!
Most importantly, though, he was a man of faith. As a monk, his days were devoted to prayer and worship. However, he was also an accomplished scholar. The two went hand-in-hand. He submitted his zeal for learning and writing to the will of God. God gave him these talents. Bede returned them to God as an offering.
Bede’s life serves as a reminder: Whatever talents God gives us can be given back to Him as an offering and as a ministry to His people. It is not only our most “spiritual” talents that God uses. You do not need to be a pastor, author, theologian, or musician to be used by God. Ordinary talents and interests can be surrendered to Him. Crafts, carpentry, computers: skills in these areas can be used for God’s glory. A willingness to listen to hurting people, without judging or offering unsolicited advice, is a talent that is sadly lacking in many churches.
How has God molded you? What gifts can you bring to Him? How can you serve the people He wants to touch through you?
Copyright © 2021 Michael E. Lynch. All rights reserved.