“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
– Mark 16:15
While walking through Target with Susan recently, we spotted a small selection of decorations for St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, most of what we found were items decked out in emerald green, adorning leprechauns with curly red hair and packages full of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Growing up, the general merriment of St. Patrick’s centered on finding something green to avoid the not-so-fun getting pinched. It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered the propensity for some to utilize the day as an excuse to overindulge in certain libations.
As Christians, we understand this day has important meaning beyond the green clothes, dancing leprechauns with curly red hair, or gold foil wrapped chocolate. St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful reminder of the efforts one person can make in sharing the gospel.
The story of St. Patrick is that, as a young man, he was captured in his native Britain and forced to serve as a slave in Ireland. Years later, he would escape to return to his home, become a cleric, and return to Ireland to share his faith. Of course, popular legend tells us Patrick used the clover to help his listeners understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whatever the tale may be, one thing’s for sure, despite what this man endured, he truly dedicated himself to the cause of God’s Kingdom.
We’ve all had that someone in our lives, the one who shared the gospel with us for the first time. It might have been a relative, a Sunday School teacher, a pastor, or a friend. Whatever the case may be, someone cared about you enough to tell you about the love of God we have through Jesus Christ. There has been some “saint” in your own lives, just as there have in mine.
St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of those people who dedicated time and effort to help others come to know Jesus as a personal Savior and Lord. It reminds me of the efforts of a man who returned to a place of captivity to share the love of God. It reminds me of the responsibility we have to share the gospel at all times, wherever we may be.
Thanks be to God for people who exemplify what it means to be devoted to the furthering of God’s Kingdom.
May we all continue the effort, and may we all give God the thanks and praise for the saints in our own lives.