Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Legacy

            I have often joked that my ethnicity is Ohio Redneck.  Many of you have a shared a laugh with me as I’ve said it.  That’s partially true.  The best answer would be that my ethnicity is Appalachian, but before that:  My family tree can be traced back to Ireland, Scotland, Germany, with a Native American.  I still claim the Ohio Redneck, but the majority of my Heinz 57ness is Irish.  I often say I come from a long line of Irish story tellers: That my destiny was found somewhere in my genetic code. (grin) Somewhere in my stacks of papers I can find the shipping manifest of where my grandfather’s father (I believe it may be an extra generation back) emigrated from Ireland.  Within my cultural code, Ireland is the culture I find I most identify with, though I have a few German/Indian moments. One of these days I’d love to visit the country.

            Since Today is St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to take a moment to discuss St. Patrick.  Most people will celebrate today with parades, pub crawls, and meals of corned beef & cabbage.  People will wear green for fear of getting pinched, and practice their best Irish brogue.  With a little too much green beer in them they’ll wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Irish or not.  However St. Patrick was far from the kind of man who would have encouraged the day-after St. Patrick’s Day hangover.

            Who was St. Patrick?  He was actually British until he was captured by pirates and forced to be a slave in Ireland.  After going back to England he became a priest and felt a divine call of God to go back to Ireland to teach them about Jesus.  St. Patrick was an evangelist.  He used a shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity, God head, Three in One (whatever you want to call it for God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit)  St. Patrick was heralded for bringing Christianity to the land of Ireland which at the time was filled with pagans and druids.  Here is a fun version of all that history told as only the Veggie Tales could tell.

            When it comes to fulfilling destiny one of the common excuses I hear people try to come up with is that they are only one person, how could they ever make a difference on the earth.  I absolutely loathe that excuse.  Jesus was God but he was one person.  St. Patrick is heralded around the world as the man who brought Christianity to an entire nation.  What about people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Martin Luther (the Protestant Reformation), Corrie Ten Boom, Etc. Etc.  I could start naming off more names that have influenced thousands for the kingdom of God and for the world.  All of these people were one person who hooked up with their divine destiny, and through them God shaped the world for generations to come. 

            As you go out and celebrate St. Patrick’s day today, realize that he choose to allow God to take all the negativity that had happened in his life (Being kidnapped by pirates, slavery, living with a bunch of people that didn’t even speak his language) and use it for the glory of God. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Remember that your life is short, what kind of legacy are you going to leave?

whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited, and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



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