As we prepare for yet another St. Patrick’s Day, I would like to take a few moments to give us a short history lesson on who we really are celebrating. Who was St. Patrick, really?
St. Patrick lived a life of tragedy turned into victory. That’s supposedly why we celebrate March 17th by eating special Irish foods and drinking green beer. These are supposed to be celebrations of a life redeemed.
This time of year there is a lot of hoopla around a lot of silliness that has little to do with the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. Somehow I don’t think the real St. Patrick was all that excited about the color green. I’m pretty positive he wouldn’t pinch someone who wasn’t wearing green. I doubt he ever ate corned beef and cabbage. I’m not sure where those nutty traditions got started. They’re fun to do once a year but they have absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was a champion of the underdog. He was all about liberating people who were stuck in sin, who were put down by an oppressive system. St. Patrick was someone who had been in slavery, he had gotten free, and now he was dedicated to liberating others from their captivity. I can realte to this. Can’t we all. We are all slaves to the sins of this world. When I accepted God into my life, I was freed from being a slave to sin. Isn’t that what we are doing in evangelism? If we are up to anything it’s that we recognize in all humility that we are fairly messed up people who are in need of an intervention. We need saving. We don’t need a little bit of help or some reform. Like St. Patrick, if God doesn’t save us we will remain stuck in captivity. The good news is that God has set us free just as he has done for St. Patrick.
Now that we are set free let’s do as St. Patrick did, let’s make it our lifestyle a lifestyle that will help liberate others. St. Patrick’s life took on greater momentum as he walked further on. The older he got the greater his impact. I believe God wills that for you and me as well. Let’s walk out our calling with passion and the enthusiasm of God himself. His provision rests upon us as we dedicate ourselves to losing our lives. We have nothing to lose, other than our lives, and he will give us great joy in giving those up as well.
This St. Patrick’s Day, let’s think about what the real mission of St. Patrick was and let’s try to make our lives reflect that as well.