Monday, March 17, 2014

There's No Snakes In Ireland

Today is that wonderful day we celebrate by wearing green and drinking too much. St. Patrick's Day.

Here's the scary thing. Why do we remember St. Patrick 1600 years later? What are we actually celebrating? If you ask many people, St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Well, that's not really true, there were never any snakes there to begin with.

St. Patrick is remembered because of what he did for Ireland. He was a slave there and escaped, but instead of hating this land that beat him and imprisoned him, he went back to share Christ's love. At a time when the church said worship could only be done their way in their language singing their songs, Patrick did things differently. He explained Christ in the language of the people (he learned it as a slave). He used things around them to help them better understand Christ including their own legends and fairy tales. Instead of starting churches as we would see it, he started communes, places people could come to get food and shelter for no charge (and if he was asked why, he would share the gospel). St. Patrick even went so far as to dress like the people he was ministering to instead of dressing like a priest and standing out as a "holy man".

The reason St. Patrick is remembered is his love for people who really didn't deserve it. And instead of forcing them to be loved his way, he learned about them and loved them in a way they would understand. That's something truly worth celebrating. And I think the best way to celebrate this is imitation...


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