Luck ‘o the Irish to ye! Our home has flag poles on it that sport our U.S. Flag and a seasonal banner. Today I got to switch out our February banner for the St. Patrick’s banner that we fly in March. I bought some corned beef the other day and this Friday our movie night is “Darby O’Gill and the Little People.” This is the time of year to get excited about St. Patrick’s Day.
As you know, our congregation sits right where “the St. Patrick’s Day Parade” of St. Louis happens. This year it’s on a Saturday, and thousands of people will be on the street right in front of our church. (You can see pictures of the craziness in our photo section. Of course, we will be out there sharing the gospel and the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m planning on sporting a full kilt this year as I hand out the tracts, bibles, pretzels and soda, and I know of one other in our congregation who is going to be exploring the breezier aspects of his Irishness in a kilt!
It’s funny that the greeting is often “Luck ‘o the Irish to ye!” If you’ve ever studied the history of the Irish people, you know that their luck is not something that you want. It is a history of poverty, disease, and bloodshed. (If you’d like to study their history in a “novel” way – pun intended- I would turn you to Leon Uris’ Trinity trilogy.) The only thing that sustained the Irish in their long history of violence is their faith in Jesus, that was brought to them by a former slave who escaped and came back to share the gospel in the 600s. The “luck” that they have is their long history of faith. Such luck we should all have!
On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. We have a sign in our window with the little-known facts of the Jews in Ireland, who have been there since around 1079. The Jews and the Irish have a lot in common. Leon Uris, a Jewish-American writer, embraces those similarities in his many books about Ireland and Israel and I would commend any of them to you for a good read. But the similarities fall short when it comes to faith. The Jews have been sustained by a promise, a promise that was realized in Ys’hua, Jesus, and a promise that they have (so far) rejected. But the sad fact is that the Irish, while having received the promise realized so long ago, have since often taken that for granted, and the true message of St. Patrick is lost in parades and drinking games. This is the time of year to share the truth. The only answer for our worldly troubles is Jesus. Download the St. Patrick’s Day tracts off of the earlier blog and share them with everyone who is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Shalom and Go mbeannai Dia duit (May God bless you!).