Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Real Identity Theft!

     Can you imagine dedicating your entire life to serving God and leading people to Jesus? Then after you spread Christianity across a complete country, you die and the country decides to remember you with a national holiday. What an honor? However, after many years of celebration and the holiday spreading into other countries, you experience a different type of identity theft. Your name starts to be associated with all kinds of activities and very few remember why you were being honored to begin with. I think this is so very sad! I am referring to the holiday that we will be celebrating next week: St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is a day of parades and wild parties and a holiday to get drunk. How did it go from honoring a man who spread Christianity across Ireland to what we have made it today?
     Here is the real story of the man behind St. Patrick’s Day. It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.) After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's, spoke to him in a dream telling him it was time to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest in 432 AD, he went back to Ireland as a priest. He tried to convert the Irish people from a pagan, polytheistic religion that worshiped the sun and the moon to Christianity. He also created and taught at many schools along Ireland's west coast. One of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of teaching and spreading God's word, he died on March 17, 461 AD. Soon after his death, the country of Ireland decided to remember his death with a day of his own and thus St. Patrick's Day was born. (From Wikipedia)
     Earlier this week we covered how we knowing each of our own stories. In honor of St. Patrick let’s try to share our story with a person who isn’t a follower of Jesus yet. Let’s help spread Christianity where we live. Let’s also wear a shamrock to represent the Trinity and tell as many people as we can what it stands for. Lastly, let’s try and share the real meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day. I have never thought to much about St. Patrick’s Day before, but it will be fun celebrating it in this new way!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15

6 comments:

Steph said...

I have never been much on St. Patrick's Day, but this brings a new light on it. I for sure want to get a clover now and wear it!!!

Gerdau Ameristeel said...

I never knew the meaning either. Sounds like we need to have a craft time and make a clover to wear throughout the day...

Sara said...

lol....i am not Gerdau Ameristeel...

Kathy T. said...

I love reading your blogs because I learn a lot of things I never knew before. See....you can teach an old dog new tricks. LOL. God Bless all.

Sherry said...

Amazing....I think I will slip over to Butte on St Patty's day and do some teaching in the bars....I did not know and have a new view of St Patrick and his day!

Anonymous said...

I always wondered why the Irish got so excited about that day, now I know. However, its too bad that the people that are celebrating don't know the real reason for celebrating!