Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Many will celebrate this festive day by wearing green, decorating with 4-leaf clovers and leprechauns, and maybe even a good bit of drinking, but is that all there is to be known and celebrated today?
Who is St. Patrick?
Patrick was born to a wealthy Roman/British family. At 16, Irish raiders dragged him off to serve 6 years as a slave in Ireland. Patrick found God while a slave, and in prayer, God told him to flee for freedom. After becoming a priest in what would later become England, Patrick responded to God’s leading to return to Ireland and share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is said that Patrick often used the 3-leaf clover to help explain the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Patrick died on March 17, 461, and is buried in the homeland of his servant’s heart – Ireland.
A reason to celebrate
Patrick became Ireland’s patron saint because of his love for the Irish people. Patrick’s heroic obedience to God’s call, and his courageous self-sacrifice to return to the land of his captivity, brought the penetrating light of God’s love and truth to clear the spiritual fog engulfing Ireland. Heroism, courage, self-sacrifice, love and truth – all good reasons to celebrate!
So, even though this has become a day for dyeing the Chicago River green, drinking green beer (perhaps to excess), and laughing at the antics of leprechauns, YOU know the real meaning of this day, and YOU can celebrate better than ever based on that deeper, richer, more fulfilling knowledge.
As the Good Book says, “…add to your faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge…” (2 Peter 1:5)
Better than a pot ‘o gold!
Folklore spins a tale about leprechauns secreting away a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Folklore also says that if you catch a leprechaun, it can grant three wishes in exchange for release. But are leprechauns really as silly, playful and harmless as portrayed in our common culture?
First of all, leprechauns are not real, they are not part of God’s creation. Secondly, leprechauns were understood to be the offspring of evil spirits (demons) and mischievous fairies. Current depictions of leprechauns are based on derogatory 19th century stereotypes of Irishmen.
As a college literature major, I learned that fairies, elves, trolls, genies, etc. were invented in literature to represent actual spiritual beings. Those that do good represent the angels who remain loyal to God. Those that do evil or mischief represent the fallen angels whose aim is to destroy mankind. What do you think? Were leprechauns invented to represent benevolent spiritual beings? And if not, do we really want to populate our homes, cubicles, or even church fellowship halls with them?
The Good Book says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
As we think about St. Patrick today, we don’t have to settle for drowning our sorrows, or hoping for leprechaun wishes or their gold. As the warm light of God’s uncommon love and truth burn away the spiritual fog perpetrated by common culture, we can celebrate this fun day with knowledge and wisdom and genuine faith, all of which are much more valuable than gold! (Psalm 19, 1 Peter 1:7)
And if there is sadness, heaviness, worry on this day, the Thinking Christian Woman can take it to God in prayer (James 5:13), and throw it over onto Him, because He cares for her (1 Peter 5:7). And as for wishes, I believe God when He says in Psalm 37 verse 4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
I won’t settle for anything less! How about you?
© 2015 Melody K. Anderson
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