Happy St Patty’s Day Week!!
When is it?…Tuesday?….
Man! It’s really a big deal!
Everyone'll be wearing “the green” and there'll be apparently lots of pinching going on over the world, along with rivers of parades and oceans of green beer! The fountains on the north and the south lawns of the White House will spout green water that day only! Lots of people really get pumped for this holiday! Sometimes you wonder if many even know why!
Kinda like the cartoon I saw of two pastors in the stands at a football game, in the middle of a bunch of screamin’, goin’-crazy fans. One says to the other, “Who you for?” and the other says, “Nobody! I don’t even know who’s playing! I just like to be some place where people are excited about something!” (‘pparently, that pastor has never been to Triple C!)
Did y’ know…
The traditional color for St Patrick was blue? Green didn’t become a thing until the Irish picked it to show that they were fighting for independence from the British…and they wanted their own color! George Washington let his soldiers celebrate St Patrick’s on March 17, 1780 because they were fighting against the Brits, too! That’s how it became such a big deal in Boston and NY!
Anyway…with all the clovers and leprechan-look-alikes, y’wonder if many really even know why Patrick was such an awesome Irish dude…
Turns out, he wasn’t!
Awesome, yes…Irish, no!
He was actually a Brit himself! His mom and dad loved Jesus and he grew up saying he did…sorta. But when he was kidnapped by Irish slave traders 1609 years ago and shipped to Ireland, the land of druid priests and warrior chiefs of pagan clans, he was forced to shepherd pigs on the Irish hillsides. That’s when he really called out to the God his parents knew. (Sound like another prodigal son you’ve heard of?)
"I would pray constantly during the daylight hours…The love of God and the fear of Him surrounded me more and more. And faith grew...In one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and at night only slightly less."
One day, he heard a voice that told him to run to the coast! “Your ship is waiting to take you home!”
He took off and after 200 miles, reached the sea. A ship taking a load of Irish wolfhounds (y’know…the dogs!) to France had room for one more smelly, shaggy passenger. Before long he was home!
But one night he had a dream.
A guy Patrick called Victorious appeared to him in this dream with letters from Ireland. One was signed, “the Voice of the Irish”
“, 'We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.' I was deeply moved in heart and I could read no further, so I awoke."
So, filled with God’s call and courage to return to the land of his enslavement, he set sail for Ireland!
The Pat was back!
He knew that Ireland wasn’t a kingdom of anyone, but an island of tribes and their chiefs. If you get the chief in charge to believe in Christ, that rest would be easy! The first one to accept Jesus was Milcu…his former master!
Not everyone was thrilled that he was sharing the message of Jesus all over the Emerald Isle
"Daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity," Patrick wrote, "but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere."
And he was unstoppable, sharing Jesus with people in the north, east and west of Ireland! Only Munster in the south was still unconverted to Jesus when he died. Some say he almost completely stopped the Irish slave trade by himself and he baptized 100,000 folks!
What a difference! All because one heart was unafraid to follow his Savior and share the Good News of Him in a tough place!
Makes you almost wanna pinch YOURSELF!