Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to introduce you to the real Patrick. He wasn’t born in Ireland,but rather in Roman Briton born c. 390 A.D. When he was 16, he was kidnapped by pirates and enslaved for 6 years in Ireland, where he worked herding cattle. Although he’d grown up nominally Christian, this experience deepened his faith. He wrote: “But after I reached Ireland I used to pasture the flock each day and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase.”
One night a voice spoke to Patrick in a dream and told him it was time to go home. He escaped the next morning and negotiated passage to the mainland. The details of the next few years of Patrick’s life are sketchy. But he eventually ended up in England, serving as a parish priest.
At the age of 48, he had another dream in which an angel appeared to him with letters from his former captors, begging him to return to them. He interpreted this dream as a call to take the gospel to Ireland and he appealed to his superiors to be sent on the mission. They agreed and Patrick arrived in Ireland around 432. There he ministered for the next 28 years. Patrick gave his life to the people who had enslaved him until he died at 77 years of age. He saw thousands of people come to Christ. Between thirty to forty of the 150 tribes had become predominantly Christian. He’d trained 1000 pastors, planted 700 churches, and was the first noted person in history to take a strong public stand against slavery.
On a day known for green beer and leprechauns, let’s learn from the real Partick. Let’s live recklessly for Him, reaching out to others with the good news of Jesus.