St. Patrick – Patron Saint of Servant Evangelism by Steve Sjogren
Patrick lived a life of tragedy turned into victory. That’s supposedly why we celebrate March 17th by eating special Irish foods and drinking green beer. These are supposed to be celebrations of a life redeemed.
This time of year there is a lot of hoopla around a lot of silliness that has little to do with the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. Somehow I don’t think the real St. Patrick was all that excited about the color green. I’m pretty positive he wouldn’t pinch someone who wasn’t wearing green. I doubt he ever ate corned beef and cabbage. I’m not sure where those nutty traditions got started. They’re fun to do once a year but they have absolutely nothing to do with good ‘ol Patrick.
Yes he killed a few snakes as you have perhaps read, but that’s not what he was about. He was a champion of the underdog. He was all about liberating people who were stuck in sin, who were put down by an oppressive system. I relate to Patrick especially because he was someone who had been in slavery, he had gotten free, and now he was dedicated to liberating others from their captivity. Isn’t that what we are doing in evangelism? If we are up to anything it’s that we recognize in all humility that we are fairly messed up people who are in need of an intervention. We need saving. We don’t need a little bit of help or some reform. Like Patrick, if God doesn’t save us we will remain stuck in captivity. The good news it God has set us free just as he has done for Patrick.
Now that we are set free let’s do as Patrick—let’s make it our lifestyle that we will liberate others. For Patrick life took on greater momentum as he walked further on. The older he got the greater his impact. I believe God wills that sort of Umph for you and me as well. Let’s walk out our calling with zest, with passion and the enthusiasm of God himself. His provision rests upon us as we dedicate ourselves to losing our lives. We have nothing to lose other than our lives—and he will give us great joy in giving those up as well.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Snakes or no snakes, whether you are wearing green or not, it’s about setting people free. Let’s do it together! Thanks for being a part of the Servant Evangelism tribe.