Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This holiday is at the very least ironic. It’s not often one of the greatest missionaries in the history of the church is celebrated by drunkenness. We aren’t sure of exactly when he was born but most believe A.D. 389 was the year. He lived about 72 years.
There are many legends about Patrick that may or may not be true. But this much we know: at the age of 16 he was captured by raiders on his father’s farm in Britain; they sold him as a slave in Ireland; after six years of serving as a slave shepherd, he escaped and returned home; his Christian faith handed down to him from his parents and his grandparents became his own; he was convicted about leaving Ireland and returned to the land where he had been held as a slave. Why? He did not go back to Ireland to drink. He went back to share the gospel with the people who enslaved him. He spent his remaining years spreading the gospel in Ireland. And even though he was not very well educated, he encouraged learning God’s word. Patrick led thousands of men and women to Christ baptizing them and discipling them and ordained countless men into the ministry.
So let’s use the example of St. Patrick as motivation not to drunkenness but to spread the gospel. Remember, he returned to spread the gospel to the very people who kidnapped and enslaved him. Jesus said something about that… “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44). Are there any former/current enemies of yours who need to hear about Jesus. Ask God for an open door to share the love of Christ with them. But don’t pray for such an open door if you’re not going to look for it. If you pray for it, He will provide it.