18th August


The crowd was amazed at the way Jesus taught. He wasn’t like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority. Matthew 7: 28, 29

There are two kinds of authority – outer and inner. Outer authority is often decried, but inner authority, though it is so elusive, is widely desired. It was this kind of authority that drew so many people to Jesus, and still does draw them. David had this kind of authority too.

One hundred and eighteen British church leaders, concerned lest the people no longer followed their lead, called a major synod for leaders and members of churches at a place named Brevi. David, who was not interested in church politics, stayed away. So many people came to the synod that they had to pile clothing to create a mound from which the speakers could be seen and heard. But speaker after speaker failed to get the ear of the people, and the leaders panicked, lest the the people returned disillusioned with the organised church. Then Paulinus, under whom David had studied, urged that they bring David to the synod, for he ‘conversed with angels, was a man to be loved’, and had stature. Three times David refused the invitation, until his holy old friend Bishop Dubricius personally went to him. The modest David told him ‘I can’t preach but I will give what little help I can with my prayers’.

As they reached the outskirts of the crowd David heard the wailing of mourners. Dubricius wanted to hurry him on to the platform, but David insisted on going to the bereaved person, a mother whose son lay dead. He comforted the mother, who begged him to restore her son. David spent more time praying over the son, who revived. She instantly dedicated him to serve God under David. David gave this young man the Gospel Book he carried, and he walked with it in front of David to the front. All eyes followed them, word spread fast, and there was a clamour for David to speak. For years afterwards people swore that that mound of clothes grew bigger as David spoke. For he spoke with authority and not as others had done. His heart was to be with the people in all their needs, not to be up front. But the people’s heart went out to him, and through him to God. That is true authority. A church in Wales recently spent time meditating on the ‘mound’. In what areas does God want you to grow authority? True authority makes its mark through prayer and service.

God take from me delusions of grandeur.
Give to me the authority that belongs to me.
May it grow through prayer and service