Pastor’s Blog March 17

 

St. Patrick’s Day

                 “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Romans 10:15

 

Are you wearing green today? Perhaps your pajamas? Typically, this is the day the color green is splashed all across our country like no other. Hats and shamrocks, green glimmering vests, glitter and gold, beer and whiskey and corn beef and cabbage rule the day. Even the Chicago River runs green on March 17th. But not today. There will not be any grand, public celebrations as all public gatherings, bars and restaurants have been shut down.

 

I am 75% Norwegian. I figure that’s what pushed me half way through the door at Our Saviour’s in 2007. But I do have a touch of Irish blood in me. My great, great grandfather broke the rules and fell in love with a young Irish girl named Miss Mary Fee. Generations late, that touch can still be seen in my brother’s subtle red hair. Growing up I touched many a lefsa and lutefisk but corn beef was never touched and never on the menu. I had no contact with the meaning of St. Patty’s Day, only that people wore green. Perhaps that is how Christians today respond to the day of Pentecost. We wear red, but most folks understand very little of the Holy Spirit.

 

So, what is the true significance of St. Patrick’s Day?

 

Patrick lived in the 5th Century and died on March 17th. He is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.

That bears repeating. St. Patrick was credited with bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland. Now that is something to celebrate. St. Paul writes, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As is it written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15.

Over the centuries, I’m sure for most, the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day has been lost and it’s simply a day to party with friends. Today, the ability to celebrate with others has been denied. We have been told to shelter at home. But being separated from others does not negate our ability to acknowledge and give thanks to God for the message behind the man. Let us take a moment today to praise God for Patrick, the man that endured great hardship, became a believer in Jesus Christ, and influenced a nation through faith. But let us take a lifetime to live in thanksgiving for God, whether we are together or not, for the message and the man, immortal, who has brought salvation for all, Jesus Christ. We have been touched and are to be transformed by this gift of faith. And whether the river runs green or not – nothing can deny the blood that ran red upon the cross.

Today, we are unable to physically run with quickened feet to share the Good News with our neighbors. But sometime today, perhaps with a phone call, text or email – you might ask the question, “Do you know the significance behind the man, St Patrick?” And who knows what the Holy Spirit might do – a river of living water might flow – one that results in a great party celebration! Remember, Jesus has already washed and blessed your feet! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!                                                      Celebrating with you All, Pastor Mark


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