Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all!

If you aren't Irish, don't despair- you can still celebrate this Christian holiday!

And while I'm at it, I thought I'd mention the origin's of this holiday- beyond the obvious Irish heritage that is. I noticed this morning, that my local station mentioned that St. Patrick died, but omitted any of the religious significance of the holiday.

When I was a child, I thought St. Patrick was just some magical guy who hated snakes- my grandmother kept a painting of him hanging in her house (years later I found out because her maiden name was McCracken, and her grandfather had been born in Ireland). But St. Patrick really is someone to be remembered- not for driving out snakes, but for his service to his fellow man.

The story goes that as a youth, St. Patrick was kidnapped from Roman-occupied Britainn, and taken to Ireland. God appeared to him in a dream and told him to flee his captors and run for the coast. A boat would then pick him up and take him home. St. Patrick did as he had been told, and sure enough, the boat was there and he was reunited with his family.

Now, you'd think someone who'd experienced something like this would never want anything to do with the Irish again- except maybe using them for target practice. But St. Patrick one day did return to Ireland- where he preached the message of salvation through Christ. St. Patrick even is credited with using the shamrock to explain the trinity (three-are-one) to the Irish. Others would follow in St. Patrick's footsteps, preaching the Gospel to the heathens- but it is St. Patrick whom the Irish credit with their Christian salvation.

Sadly, instead of celebrating St. Patrick's devotion to Christ, and willingness to put aside wrongs done to him, we instead use the holiday as an excuse to drink green beer and pinch people not wearing the right color.

But you can change that. If St. Patrick was able to heed Christ's message of forgiveness and return to the land of his captors, surely on this day in March you can do some good as well. Like witnessing your devotion to Christ, or forgiving a transgression against you.

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