Thoughts from T. M. Moore on how our story fits into God’s Story:
Deliver, Jesus, my soul from every vengeance, as you delivered Martin from the priest of the idol.
Deliver me, Jesus, for the sake of your followers, as you delivered Patrick from poison in Tara.
– Oengus mac Oengobann, Feilire Oengusso, Irish, 9th century
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
– Hebrews 11.39, 40
Some Christians seem to think there are two kinds of history, two kinds of time. First, there is Bible time, and Bible history. Things happened in the Bible that were unique, and that we don’t expect to see happen in normal time and history, where we live. There is some truth to this view, but very limited, in particular, to what we should expect with respect to how God reveals Himself to us (cf. Heb. 1.1-3). Celtic Christians believed that their own times were all of a piece with Biblical time and history. The quote above occurs at a place in Oengus’ homage to the martyrs where he celebrates two historical figures – Martin of Tours and Patrick – after 25 stanzas, worded according to this same pattern, of Biblical saints. The implication is clear: The God Who worked in time to deliver the saints and martyrs of history is still in the business of delivering His people today. His covenant, so powerful in its unfolding in Scripture, is still unfolding by His same power in our times.
The writer of Hebrews is, if anything, even a little more emphatic. After his listing of the saints of Scripture he makes it clear that the fullness of time, the consummation of the ages was not during Bible time, but now, in the latter days, when God has begun to pour out His Spirit and bring the rich blessings of His covenant to full expression for His people. There is no diminishing of divine activity during the times in which we live. Quite the contrary: God is more at work, more powerfully, and more widespread than He ever was in the days when Scripture was being given. His power to renew, revive, restore, and replenish lives is more concentrated and more effective today than it has ever been before! But it takes faith to engage that power and enter into the exciting and dynamic unfolding of that covenant story by the covenant God. Do you see yourself as part of that great story of deliverance? Do you expect to know God’s power at work in you today?
O God, I want to know that I’m part of that same story that You have been unfolding since the beginning of time! Make me conscious of Your continuing presence and of my participation in Your glorious covenant.
T. M. Moore, Crossfigell, October 24, 2008
Crossfigell is a daily email devotional written by T. M. Moore. You can receive Crossfigell in your inbox free by signing up for it at T. M.’s website My Paruchia.