Published March 23, 2010

Shelia Shares....
"St. Patrick"

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated this past week. I found the following article about St. Patrick filled with information, as well as an encouragement to share Jesus wherever we are placed. I hope it will encourage you – and appreciate Pastor Bill for allowing me to share it.

- Shelia

by Pastor Bill

Carol and I worked with an Irish children's pastor while at International Airport Church in Minneapolis. His research on St. Patrick was driven by a need to know and understand how Saint Patrick fit into God's plan. So here is a fresh look at St. Patrick as related by Pastor Martin — a true Irishman. He sheds some surprising light on Saint Patrick's life — pass the corn beef and cabbage!

He was called Patricius and he symbolizes a nation that was changed by God. In 414 AD, the Romans had just left Britain but left behind Roman/Greek culture and the Gospel. However, the Barbarians of Ireland had not been conquered. The Irish were insulated on their island being ruled by clan kings. The organized Christian church of the time had sent missionaries to Ireland, but the Irish clan kings along with the Ancient Celt Priests called druids had executed them.

Patricius was born and lived in England and was kidnapped by marauding Irish bandits and taken to Ireland. In his autobiography he tells of being a slave in Ireland for six years. There he tended pigs and wrote this, "The love of God and the fear of Him surrounded me more and more. And faith grew. And the Spirit roused so that one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and one night slightly less." He was a man of prayer.

Later Patricius escaped from Ireland back to England. Patricius became a church leader and received a call to go back to Ireland as a missionary. His previous stay in Ireland as a slave caused him to write, "Daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere."

Patricius was not afraid of the clan kings or the druids and he went straight to tell them the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. In his humble way he did not show fear as he trusted in his God. The Gospel had been delivered and received by the barbarian clan kings. This was Ireland's initial conversion and the Irish made much progress for the kingdom of God during that period.

Who was Patricius? Well, you know him as St. Patrick. The same St. Patrick who is celebrated with a special day each year when parades abound and people of Irish heritage all wear green and generally eat corned beef and cabbage. But as you can see he wasn't Irish at all. He was English but don't go telling any Irish people that!

So St. Patrick's Day is really a celebration of how one man spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout Ireland at great risk to his own life. It is also a celebration of how the message of the Lord Jesus Christ can change the hearts of a people and save the most ruthless of people. St. Patrick is also living proof of what happens when we cast ourselves into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere.

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