St. Patrick’s Day is a light-hearted celebration day. At least in the States. Everyone wants to be Irish. All the things, clothes, and food are green. Or you’ll get pinched.
I even gave into the spirit of the day. Irish Pandora playing (Chieftains for the win!) while I baked scones donned in a green shirt. My Irish great- uncle would be proud. Or at least amused.
Throughout the day, I’ve been thinking about the more serious, tragic themes of St. Patrick’s story and the reasons behind the green and orange colors: slavery, religious wars, paganism, Patrick’s own animosity to his Creator. These in turn remind me of the rifts I see today. Dissent and polarization in politics, denominations, and even families. Slavery still to be eradicated. Hate-filled wars continue. People still reject their Creator.
But then there are other themes from St. Patrick’s story: Patrick’s reconciliation to God, his forgiveness and missionary work for his former enslavers, freedom from paganism for those who believed in Christ.
Patrick’s story that reminds me of Joseph in the Bible. And Paul. In these stories and more throughout history, God has shown himself powerful to work even in the bleakest, most hopeless situations. And His purposes led to life for his people, even when it seems all is lost.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
That gives me hope for the rifts today. Hope to pray for reconciliation. Hope that God is still at work. Hope to keep doing the work he gives.