Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Ok, If you're not wearing green today would I pinch you? Probably so. Can't help it. I'm pretty sure that was ingrained in like kindergarten. If you are wearing green today, what are you celebrating? Is it the Luck of the Irish? An excuse to throw back a pint? Maybe the one day of the year wearing your pointy green shoes isn't weird? Perhaps it's a family heritage or just plain old tradition?
Though there is some family heritage for me (my dad is probably marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade today in Dublin) , I don't have green shoes, and it's not so much about the Luck of the Irish... It is, however, very much about the Love of the Irish!
There's this teenager who was taken captive and enslaved in Ireland... after 6 years of captivity, he escaped. In his freedom, this guy's heart was broken for his captors and the land of his captivity. Out of LOVE he returned... Patrick so loved Jesus, he lived a transformed life and did the unthinkable. He LOVED his captors!
Patrick LOVED the Irish, though they were seemingly unlovable. They didn't know of Grace, Mercy or Hope, but Patrick did. He experienced it and couldn't help but share it. Being empowered by God and knowing the culture Patrick was able to start real and relevant expressions of The Church in Ireland. Don't think so much about steeples and hymnals... Think about communities of people doing life together, working community gardens and welcoming in strangers.
Through one community lives were changed and other communities began to spring up around Ireland. Inviting people in and giving them freedom to belong before they ever believed proved to be the mark of God's movement in Ireland. There's something to experiencing the Love of God... It transforms lives! Patrick experienced it and carried it to Ireland - are you experiencing it and where are you carrying it today?
The Love of the Irish... God's Love for messed up people... That's what I'm celebrating today!