Celebrate St. Patrick. Tell People About Jesus!
Spoiler Alert: St Patrick’s Day was not originally a celebration of beer. It would be more appropriate to drink a lot of beer to celebrate Benjamin Franklin who is credited with saying:
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.Ben Franklin
St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of, well, St. Patrick–the man who brought Christianity to Ireland. He actually first went to Ireland as a slave. He was kidnapped off of his father’s fields and remained captive in Ireland for six years before he escaped back to England. When he returned, he went to work for the church and eventually became a bishop. Later is in his life he decided to go back to the land that enslaved in to share the Good News of the Gospel.
Christianity had not yet taken hold in Ireland. Legend has it that one of the main reasons was the people couldn’t wrap their minds around the concept of the Trinity–the three-in-one. And who can blame them? It sounds ridiculous…or at least, polytheistic.
Patrick is credited with coming up with the idea of using a shamrock (which was the symbol of national pride in Ireland) to illustrate the nature of the Triune God.. Each leaf is separate and distinct, yet part of a whole. It’s just one clover, yet with three individual leaves. That seemed to do the trick and let to the conversion of many.
Now we’re not all called to bring Christianity to countries that have rejected it for years, but we are all called to share the good news.
Fun Fact: you know the famous line called “The Great Commission” that wraps up the books of Matthew–go make disciples of all people? In the original Greek, the verb “go” is not an imperative. It’s a present participle. For non-grammar geeks, this means a more accurate translation would be “In your going” or “As you go.” So it’s not a command to set out to make disciples, it’s one to make disciples in all of your goings…wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
So today, be like St. Patrick. Take what you have where you are and share the good news. You never know when something as simple as shamrock might just change the hearts of many.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.