In my devotions today I read part of the story of Kilian. Kilian was an Irish Christian of the seventh century who took the good news to Europe and in so doing met a martyr’s death in Wutrzburg. The story goes that Kilian found himself on wrong side of the wife of the governor when, having lead the governor to confess Christ, Kilian told the governor to put away his wife since she was also the widow of his brother. Christianity didn’t allow such relationships in those days. When the governor did as he was directed by the missionary the spurned wife had the missionary (and two of his mates) beheaded. The end point of the devotion was that as Christians it behoves us that we remain faithful even in the face of anger from the powerful and that the way of Christ may indeed lead us to challenge the powerful.
But I wonder whether Kilian was over-reaching. Having lead the governor to Christ did he have to bring in the moral code so quickly? Wasn’t it enough to introduce Gozbert (the governor) to Christ through the saving message of grace? Why did Kilian not allow Christ and the Holy Spirit to work conviction on the man’s soul? I wonder whether a little patience might have saved not only Kilian’s life but potentially the soul of Mrs Gozbert too.