This week the GREEN comes out for St. Patrick’s Day! Normally we’re not a church that traditionally celebrates saints in a formal way…but we do recognize our forbears of the faith that made us who we are! St. Patrick is known for his missionary-evangelism work among the ancient tribes of Ireland. He himself was not Irish, but British. He first, as a youth, was captured into slavery and taken to Ireland by force. He lived there in isolation for a number of years, tending sheep, and reading scripture. He escaped, went back home, but then chose to return in order to share his Christian faith with the Irish.
The thing of greatest note to me, and how Patrick might speak to us today, was that he had such great success with the Irish because he was a master at meeting people in their own cultural contexts and sharing the love and grace of God without forcing a foreign belief system upon them. He ASSIMILATED them into Christianity, rather than rigidly forced them to convert.
There’s a saying, FAITH IS CAUGHT, NOT TAUGHT. We “catch” the faith by seeing people live and act their faith in compelling ways in in everyday life. Only when we catch that spark, are we then open to receiving actual instruction. So, let’s all BE and ACT THE FAITH we profess. SHINE your light!