A Drink For St. Patrick’s Day

Reading: John 4:13-14

On St. Patrick’s Day I ponder my heritage, the Dermody family has been in Canada since 1832 (perhaps a few years earlier -gggrandfather Patrick Dermody took his military discharge here at the end of his service).  The Irish is watered down with some Icelandic, English and who knows what else.  At one point in my life St. Patrick was a rally to my ethnicity and origins.  Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ he has taken on a more significant roll.  Certainly there are many traditions and myths, as well as aspects of how we celebrate St. Paddy’s Day that are veiled in time and historically inaccurate.  Nevertheless, we do have some good, verifiable, history about Patrick.  Captured by raiders and sold as slave to a pig farmer in Ireland, Patrick was not Irish by birth.  He escaped, ended up coming to faith himself and training for the ministry.  Then God  gave him a calling to return to the country he had escaped, to love them and present to them the message of Christ.  Through that ministry many discovered faith and freedom in Christ, which was pivotal in forming the nation/people we know as Irish today.  

One of the things we have from Patrick is called his ‘breastplate prayer’, part of which reads thus:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Here is a great legacy of St. Patrick, a whole-hearted life of dedication, service and relationship with Jesus. Here is where my morning reading on this 17th of March ties in and stirs my heart.  Jesus said to the woman at the well; ‘Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst. Indeed the water I give will become within that one a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’  

On this St. Patrick’s Day drink deeply the quaff of St.Patrick -the presence of Christ in our lives through confession & faith. This is the story of St. Patrick, his live changed, he a spring of life and hope to a nation as he walked with Jesus.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  May Christ within you, the hope of glory, make you a blessing today!

 

 

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