Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Do you have your "green" on today? After all, it's St. Patrick's Day and the most important thing about this day is that we wear green so we don't get pinched!! NOT! There will be celebrations all around the world, which includes drinking endless pints of Guinness while wearing green and Ireland's flag colors like this wig on the little guy in the photo.

I loved attending the annual St. Patrick's Day Party that we had in my community in Tulsa, but I'll miss it this year. We always enjoyed corned beef & cabbage, Irish Stew, Celtic music, and played lots of Irish games and watched Irish dancers! With all the good hearted fun, I know, like other religious holidays, this is another "watered down, rather beered down" day where we get distracted from the true meaning of this day, but I want to honor St. Patrick by sharing who this man was -- just in case you may not know.

St. Patrick was born around A.D. 389 in England. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Ireland. Six years later he escaped and returned home to Britain, but became burdened for the spiritual condition of the Irish. He eventually returned to their land as a missionary for 30 years where he established more than 200 churches and led more than 100,000 to faith in Christ. He used the 3-leaf shamrock to talk about the Trinity. His death on March 17, 461 is remembered each year as St. Patrick's Day. WOW -- like Joseph, St. Patrick, was sold to slavery, and like Joseph in the Bible, "what the enemy meant for evil, God turned for good". Genesis 50:20.

Can you imagine what must have gone through Patrick’s mind when he heard the Lord’s call to return to the land where he was once a slave? Instead of running to his safe place, he followed God’s plan for his life. And, isn’t that exactly what we are called to do? Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Listen to how utterly consumed St. Patrick was with his relationship with God in his prayer:

"I arise today through God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me,God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise. Christ in the heart of everyone one who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.I arise today through His mighty strength."

Let's take a few moments to honor and be inspired by St. Patrick -- a man who boldly listened to God’s call for his life and achieved so much for God's glory. His witness, his prayer, his passion and his example really is something to celebrate today. The green I wear today, honors him, honors the God he served and HE is also MY Lord, and MY God!