One More Tradition St. Patrick Started (That You Can Do to Celebrate Today)

We live in a time when we have access to the stories of so many who loved Christ before we did and who followed Him through every imaginable obstacle and trial. This is a wonderful resource for us as Christians.

To celebrate St. Patrick is to celebrate the power of God who continues to work in those of us stones that lie in modern mud. St. Patrick is quoted as saying:

“Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.”

And this is a portion of the prayer of St. Patrick: “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”

Patrick was stolen from his family by Irish raiders and held as a slave for six years before escaping back to his family in Britain. After entering the church, he returned to Ireland – to the people who had held him in slavery – to serve them as a missionary and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There are many reasons and ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Before you put on the green, cook up the corned beef and lift a Guinness today, you might look back on those who have committed wrongs against you – those who perhaps held your spirit captive – and you can choose, like St. Patrick, to forgive them and perhaps even to reach out to them in the power of the name of Jesus Christ.

Many of us were harmed by others in our youth. Like St. Patrick who was taken captive or Joseph, the dreamer who was sold by his brothers into slavery, many of us were harmed by those around us and experienced a certain type of bondage that shaped who we are. Patrick and Joseph both found the power of God in their lives stronger than the power of those who had done them wrong. They both overcame through the spirit of Jesus Christ and not only broke free but forgave those who did them wrong.

Take time today to ask God who it was in your past that harmed you, broke your spirit and held you captive. Pray the prayer of St. Patrick – Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me. Draw on the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to forgive those who harmed you and ask Jesus to set you free, to deliver you completely from the bondage of the past – to set you so free, you could even share the love of Jesus with those who hurt you most.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to celebrate a kind of freedom that many of us still have not experienced. The freedom to forgive those who have harmed us and to live our lives defined – not by them – but by our devotion to the truth and to Jesus Christ.

It’s not easy. But it’s possible. Ask Patrick.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. A Celebration of one with Deep Devotion to Jesus.

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14 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Andrea says:

    Great post!
    Hugs, andrea

  2. You hit it outta the park again, Lori! What an encouraging post. Thank you!

  3. Love the photo of Sitka on your blog today, Andrea! Absolutely priceless!

  4. Shannon, thanks! I told my 17-year-old daughter about your post the other day (are your leaves falling off while others are blooming?) and she loved it. I’ve been thinking about it all week. Thanks for coming by!

  5. Thanks Lori! I need some more teenage readers! I’m working on a silly post about a writers need for their very own “Robot Skeleton Army.” That’s the ridiculously endearing name Craig Ferguson has given to his Twitter followers. Makes me laugh.

  6. Hello, my name is Ron and I am a
    Christian blogger.

    I enjoyed looking over your blog.
    And you are more than welcome
    to visit my mine.
    http://ronjoewhite.blogspot.com
    ronj1946 at gmail dot com

    If I’ve posted this to your blog before
    please forgive me, sometimes it ain’t
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    God Bless You

  7. Love Craig Ferguson, Shannon, but don’t know that he has a huge teen-age following – Robot Skeleton Army brings to mind Ezekiel and God raising an army from dry bones!

  8. Good to see you again, Ron!

  9. Living Water says:

    Help us dear Lord to forgive those who have wronged us! Amen.

  10. And to seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Amen.

  11. Cheri says:

    Okay, I now have a favorite post! This is it! My son was born on St. Patrick’s Day, the one who went through Teen Challenge. I never knew the history of Patrick.

    This especially touched my heart: “And this is a portion of the prayer of St. Patrick: ‘Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.’”

    That’s how I see our son. He was stolen from us by drugs. The enemy tried to destroy his life. But he’s returned to Jesus, forgiven those who hurt him and sought forgiveness from those he hurt. Now he lives with Christ “beside, before, behind, within, beneath, and above” him.

    I’m going to share this post with him.

    Hugs,
    Cheri

  12. Isn’t it wonderful, the messages God writes into our lives, our stories, our hearts when we aren’t looking? He’s the greatest author of all.

  13. Cheri says:

    Yes, He is!

    God hugs,
    Cheri

  14. Melanie Gibson says:

    Well now I feel a lot better about today being St. Patrick’s Day. As I was lying in bed this morning in my single-bedroom apartment by myself I remembered that today was March 17, and my reaction was one of, “Oh, swell.” All I could think of was people wearing green, watching parades, drinking large quantities of beer, and eating corned beef & cabbage. I have no such plans; my biggest plan for the day is to go to the grocery store because I need a few things. This post reminded me how blessed I am that God plucked me out of my own muddy situation and placed me here where he and I can work together.