Happy St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day has become an excuse for people to get drunk. That is a long way from the life of the man the day represents. St. Patrick is said to have chased the snakes from Ireland but in truth he lived the life of a missionary. Patrick lived from 389 to 461 AD. He was kidnapped from his native England when he was sixteen years old and was sold by his kidnappers to a pagan chieftain king in Ireland. Patrick’s overseer beat him if he did not work hard. He spent most of his time in a cruel and lonely existence.
Patrick knew about Jesus because his father and grandfather had tried to pass on to him a godly heritage. However, until kidnapped, he had not paid much attention to Jesus. Now that he was lonely and filled with despair, away from his family, Patrick cried out to God. At some point he was hit by an awareness of God’s amazing love, and he grew in faith. One night, at age 22, he was led by God to escape and traveled 200 miles to find a ship to take him home. Eventually Patrick made it home to England. His family rejoiced and wanted him to stay. But one night Patrick saw a vision and heard “the voice of the Irish” calling to him. He knew that God was calling him back to Ireland to be a missionary. He began his ministry when he was around 40 years old. Ireland was full of paganism, idol worship, and fear. Druid priests performed animal and human sacrifices, incantations, and occult rituals. Patrick first sought to witness to the man that had kidnapped him. For thirty years Patrick faithfully traveled throughout Ireland facing danger, hardships, and prison. He never gave up and was driven by compassion for the people of Ireland. Many came to Christ. He built churches and left groups of believers throughout the land. During his lifetime, Patrick saw the majority of Ireland become followers of Jesus Christ. Patrick is an awesome example of a person who loved God and others so much that he dedicated his life to stand up for Christ and to proclaim the Gospel. He walked by faith and was honored by God. Let’s be bold, like Patrick was, and spread the Gospel to a lost world. That’s how to have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Happy St. Patrick's Day,