Today we celebrate St. Patrick’s day. I don’t have a whole lot of green in my closet, but perhaps that’s not the best way to honor who St. Patrick was anyway.
St. Patrick’s story is worth knowing. The Roman church had no success in reaching the “barbaric” Celt tribes, and they had pretty much given up. There were far too focused on trying to make the Celts into Romans first, and the Celts wanted nothing of it.
St. Patrick was not a Celt, and had actually been enslaved by the Celts. After his enslavement, he went back to them to minister to them. However, he used far different methods, and brought the gospel to the Celts in their terms. He incorporated elements of their culture into the message to help them understand. He created communities of Christ followers right on the edge of Celt villages that began to show them a different way of life. (For more info on St. Patrick and his ministry, read The Celtic Way of Evangelism, by George Hunter.)
Perhaps the best way for us to honor St. Patrick is to continue the work he did. Find one way today or this weekend to bring the gospel into our culture. Find one way to share with someone besides simply inviting them to church. Understand where people are, what they care about, and intersect the gospel with that — maybe that even starts with sharing a green beer with someone today.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on what you can do or have done. Comment here on the blog, or on your own blog if you have one. Let’s truly honor the work that St. Patrick did.