Happy St. Patrick's Day!
When you think of St. Patrick's Day you probably think of Shamrock Shakes, Guinness beer, corn beef and cabbage, and kissing an Irishman. What we don't think about is St. Patrick.
St. Patrick did many cool things in his life, but I am struck this morning by his example of Christian love.
St. Patrick was the son of a wealthy Welshman. At age 16 he was kidnapped by Irishmen and taken to Ireland. In Ireland he was forced into slavery where he cared for sheep. Six years into his slavery he had a vision from God. This vision lead him to the coast where he caught a ship and escaped to home.
Patrick would dream again. While safe in Britain he got another vision from God. In this vision, God told him to return to Ireland with the Gospel. So, Patrick went back to the people who kidnapped and enslaved him. He went back with good news, not a sword.
St. Patrick is credited with taking a pagan nation and turning it into an entirely Catholic nation. St. Patrick's willingness to extravagantly love his enemies changed the course of history and made heaven a little more crowded.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Wear green. Listen to Irish music. Eat an Irish stew. Drink a Guinness or Shamrock Shake. But don't forget that this holiday is really a tribute to a man who demonstrated extravagant love and a heart for evangelism. Don't forget to honor the legacy of St. Patrick by copying him a bit.
Also, today is my little brother's 20th birthday! Please take time to wish him "Happy Birthday" by commenting on his blog today.