When I was growing up, I always told my Mom , that St. Patrick’s day was “my” day. It is special to me because of my Irish heritage, but now as a Christian, I treasure not only the heritage, and the man, St. Patrick, but most particularily, his mission.
St. Patrick will be Googled more times than we can imagine; parades have come and gone, pints of Guinness will be poured in local pubs, flags raised, folk-lore repeated, songs sung, and today “everyone is Irish.”
But the man we attribute this day to was much more than an excuse to drink a little too much and eat corned beef and cabbage. This man was a missionary. A more excellent article than this on St. Patrick can be found here, but St. Patrick is still teaching us today.
What can we learn from his hardships, life, and legacy? We surely learn something about ourselves…
Today we are more comfortable with our Christian Community than those outside of our four walls…how many non-Christian friends do you have and spend time with? Today we draw political lines and confuse patriotism with Christianity…our Kingdom is not of this world. Today we build walls to keep people out because we need to be “not of this world,” and in our separatistic mindsets, people are going to an eternity without Jesus that we have an opportunity to reach. Today the great commission is a “good idea,” not a Gospel life rhythm that breaks our hearts for a world that still that not heard the glorious Gospel of Christ yet.
If that is “broad-brushing,” search your own heart… When I say “we” I really mean “me,” because the life of St. Patrick rebukes my complacency, coldness of fervency, and warm comforts that I so often treasure more than the discipleship and mission I am called to pursue.
St. Patrick was wronged and yet he went back to bring a Gospel to people that were pagan and against his message. Like St. Patrick, like Jesus, we who are Christians are called to be Missionaries. You may never be sent over seas, but you can support someone who is…but how about we start being missionaries in our homes, to our neighbors, and in the workplace and market place?
“Daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery if the occasion arises, But I fear nothing, because of the promises of heaven.”
Having this heart is not only being like St. Patrick, but it is following the greater missionary, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So raise a toast, enjoy that Corned beef, but above all else, pray that you and I would be used as a missionary today where ever Jesus sends you!
St. Patrick Tharp