For the time, will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3-5
Are you among the many wearing green today? I am. It is a fun game to play with children, seeing who remembered to celebrate by wearing green or who is going to get “pinched”. It seems that the holiday we celebrate today has come a long way from the original intent. Today we play games, wear green and many have drunken parties. It is noted that Ireland originally celebrated the day with religious services but it was the immigrants to the US that largely transformed it into a secular holiday of partying.
St. Patrick lived during the 5thcentury and was a legend by the 7thcentury. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Patrick was born in Britain of a Romanized family. At age 16 he was torn by Irish raiders from the villa of his father, Calpurnius, a deacon and minor local official, and carried into slavery in Ireland.” It goes on to say that Patrick spend 6 long and hard years in Ireland as a herdsman. Instead of anger and bitterness for his captors, Patrick is said to have turned with “fervor to his faith”. He did escape his captors and returned home after additional hardships on the return trip. If you read much of his story, you will find that he fought the call on his life because of his inability to read and write. Once Patrick committed completely to God and what God was wanting him to do he returned to Ireland (the land of his captivity) with zeal and passion even though he lived in danger of being killed for his ministry. The encyclopedia does say that Patrick was known to give continuous thanks to God for “having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped ‘idols and unclean things’ had become ‘the people of God.’” Legend even states that St. Patrick used the 3 -leaf shamrock to explain the trinity to unbelievers.
My point is not to focus on St. Patrick and debate the doctrine of the Catholic Church. I want today among the fun and games of the holiday to get back to the original intent. Have fun but never forget to celebrate Christ. Learn what is behind the holiday and during the fun of the day let your children know that someone, against all odds, and without hesitation fulfilled the call God put on his life. What about you? Have you put action with your faith? Do you have a fervor that will carry you through trials and hardships? If the answer is yes, I applaud you. Keep up the fight! If the answer is “sort of” or “no”, the only way to find that fervor is to spend time in God’s presence. Seek His guidance, Praise His name, Look to the author and finisher of your faith! Don’t let your faith take a turn like the intent of the holiday but “fulfill your ministry.” What is God asking you to do? Say yes today.
See the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11