Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Dublin Ireland. We all like to let our hair down on occasions and if you venture onto Grafton Street today you'll find an entire nation doing just that!  It's probably a combination of a day off in early spring after months of near darkness and freezing cold, combined with an early surge of tourists, all youthful and sporting far more green than the Irish themselves, as well as a city wide festival atmosphere, that leads to this unusual celebration, not to mention a few scoops of alcohol at the wrong side of lunchtime.
In the fog of the revelry and madness the entire reason for the day off is mostly lost.  Who was Saint Patrick anyway?  Some think he simply replaced snakes with the mass and smashed up a good old pagan hooly in the process.  Myth and ignorance have a funny habit of taking root when it suits people but, for the day that's in it, it's worth looking at who he really was.
By the time the 5th Century came around the Roman Empire was in decline and anarchy was breaking out on its fringes in these isles.  Lads were swiped and sold as slaves and thus Patrick as a teen found himself with the sheep in Antrim.  From his past he remembered what God had done for him and he apologized to the Creator for his personal rebellion and selfishness. The first and biggest miracle happened then...his heart was changed and his hatred diverted from God to sin and his love also switched from sin to God.  He then began to hear the voice of God himself and was led to get the boat home to Wales.  The captain told him to get stuffed but God nudged him to persist and he was soon on the ferry.  Sundry adventures followed and trials including the amazing provision of food, in the form of wild pigs when all seemed lost to his unbelieving travelling companions.  Later on he was called back to Ireland to bring the life changing message about Jesus and what His death means for us.  Through many travels, much preaching, healings, baptisms and church plantings the entire nation was, in a short space of time, transformed for the better and this led to Ireland became a leading light in an otherwise very dark dark ages.
Now back to the Grafton Street of 2015 as another drunken teen falls to the floor and the nation staggers under the leadership of men and women who have lost their moral compass I believe the time is again ripe for a revival of truth where the personal saving work of Jesus Christ can again lift the Irish, and their foreign guests, out of the abyss...in even sense of the word!  Happy St Patrick's Day!

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