Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 31st August 2023: Saint Aidan, Bishop

Saint 1 Corinthians 9 Mission Saint Aidan

Reading : Verses from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 9

Saint Aidan

If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe betide me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Saint Aidan. He was born in Ireland around 590 AD, and became a monk on the Scottish island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides. He moved to the island of Lindisfarne when King Oswald of Northumbria requested that he be made bishop of the newly converted Northumbrians. He was consecrated Bishop in 635 AD and settled on Lindisfarne where he established his church and a monastery and his See (the Diocese), close to the King's stronghold at Bamburgh. The monastery became a leading centre of Christianity, producing men like Chad (the first bishop of Lichfield), and his brother Cedd who converted the East Saxons.

The Romans brought Christianity to this area but the Anglo-Saxons had pushed it back. However, Aidan travelled ceaselessly as a missionary preaching to the Anglo-Saxon nobility and to the poor. He would walk the lanes to different villages talking about his faith, and it's really due to him that Christianity was restored to the north of England.

These early British saints have so much to teach us about interacting with ordinary people. Every single person we meet or have contact with (face-to-face or emails and texts!) becomes a potential for ordinary mission work for all of us. By simply wearing a cross, putting "Blessings" or similar at the end of a message, mentioning going to Church, or some other Christian experience, we can open a door to conversation. It also helps to really listen to those we meet, and enter into their experiences. After all as Paul says "he becomes a slave to all" for the sake of the Gospel. We have no excuse not to do this - for unlike Paul we are unlikely to be persecuted!


Collect for St Aidan

Everlasting God,
you sent the gentle bishop Aidan
to proclaim the gospel in this land:
grant us to live as he taught
in simplicity, humility, and love for the poor;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

Follow Up Thoughts

If we really want to follow in Saint Aidan's footsteps in simple ways this site produced by the Methodist Church offers some help. Read the work below, and see how far you can get, or alternatively pick and choose, you don't have to work 1 to 10!

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