UK Kingdom Travel Journal—Day 13

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

Today was a travel day.

We drove from Dornoch, via Loch Ness and Stirling, arriving in Gullane, east of Edinburgh around 10:00 p.m.

This was a day when we planned to enjoy the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and its lochs.

This we did, but we also found time to stop at Urquhart Castle, located on Loch Ness between Inverness and Fort Augustus.

It was here that St. Columba, the missionary to what is today Scotland, led a Pictish nobleman, Emchath, to the Lord in the late sixth century.

As Adomnan, Columba’s biographer tells it, after Columba crossed the Druim Alban mountain range (a mountain range that divides western Scotland from east) and arrived on the Loch Ness (east) side, “he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

It is humbling to realize the same Holy Spirit that inspired Columba works in me and in all Kingdom citizens.

Columba then said, “Let us make haste to meet the holy angels who have come from the heights of heaven to bear away the soul of a heathen man, who has spent his whole life in natural goodness and is now very old. But they must wait till we reach the place, so that we may bring timely baptism to him before he dies.”

Columba then huried ahead to Glen Urquhart where he found an old man named Emchath. Columba preached the Gospel to Emchath, and Emchath, his son, and entire family believed and were baptized. Columba was obedient, and he made disciples. It is the same the Lord asks of all Jesus-followers today.

In this trip, we’ve seen the results of the evangelistic efforts of Gregory the Great, Augustine of Canterbury, Bede, and now Columba. I look at them and I wonder what was lost between the middle of the first millennium and the early part of the second. Maybe I’m just working off of anecdotal evidence but on this trip while we have seen the Church building castles and monastaries in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we haven’t seen them making disciples, and it is disciples not buildings that change the world. GS

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