Saturday, March 16, 2019
Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. You are free to celebrate with green beer if you want, but Saint Patrick did not bring beer to Ireland. He did however bring the Irish LUCK.
Patrick was first in Ireland as a prisoner (4th Century). He was taken captive by Irish pirates long before he was a believer in Jesus Christ. He spent six years in captivity before escaping back to England. While in captivity in Ireland, Patrick came to faith. He wrote in Confession that his “time in captivity was critical to his spiritual development.”
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols. (Isaiah 43:6-8)
In the struggles of life he met the mercy of God. Patrick said: “The Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven his sins.” The captive was captured by the love of God, for the glory of God.
Years after escaping and returning home, he had a vision to return and share Christ. At this time Ireland was lost and pagan. Legend has it he shared about the Holy Trinity using a three leafed Shamrock, using it to illustrate the teaching of three persons in One God.
The expression, “the luck of the Irish” is oft quoted around Saint Patrick’s Day. It actually has nothing to do with him or three or four leaf clovers/Shamrocks. You can research that saying on your own.
What is clear is that God’s mercy and love set Patrick free. And Patrick, full of love, used his freedom to share Christ. In fact he did bring Ireland a sort of LUCK – love, understanding, compassion and kindness. That is the LUCK that transformed Ireland. And indeed today it is love, understanding, compassion and kindness that we are called to celebrate and share with all.
So – here’s to the God of Saint Patrick who breathes life, sets us free, and calls us to live out of the love, understanding, compassion and kindness of Jesus Christ. That is luck worth celebrating.