Summary: Around this time of the year, one should consider the life of St. Patrick, especially since there is a day dedicated in his honor.
Title: St. Patrick, Whose He?
Theme: The Real St. Patrick
Introduction: The writer of the Book of Hebrews has some real sound advice for the children of God, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7) One of the great leaders of New Testament is the Apostle Paul and he gives us this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Pray!
A saint has been defined as “a man in whom Christ lives.” The real leader of the church preaches and lives in Christ. Men are captivated by Christians who live out what they believe. Mankind will not necessarily agree with what a man preaches, but they will take note of how he lives.
Around this time of the year, one should consider the life of St. Patrick, especially since there is a day dedicated in his honor. Unfortunately, many people only observe his holiday, March 17, by drinking themselves silly, which is totally contrary to the spirit of the man who Christianized Ireland. In fact, Patrick shows what God can do through someone who is committed fully to Him. (Thomas Cahill How the Irish Saved Civilization).
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is worth grasping as we look into the life of St. Patrick. March 17, St. Patrick’s day is the date of his death and is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself. (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; Patrick's Biography)
St. Patrick is on the list of saints, and was declared a saint in heaven by many Catholic Churches. St. Patrick was also venerated in the Orthodox Catholic Church.
"The Episcopal Church annually honors St. Patrick with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, which falls during the Christian season of Lent. For more than 1,000 years, the Irish have observed St. Patrick's Day as a religious holiday. Traditionally, on St. Patrick's Day, Irish families would attend church in the morning and celebrate later—including eating a traditional meal of cabbage and Irish bacon." (Patrick's Biography)
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians who walk in obedience to God’s call upon their lives are worthy of our attention and we should imitate their faith. It would be good for us to evaluate the outcome of St. Patrick's life.
St. Patrick was known as the "Apostle of Ireland" (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia) He wrote, "I am a servant of Christ to a foreign nation for the unspeakable glory of life everlasting which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Patrick (Mark Driscroll, Church History)
I would like to read a prayer of St. Patrick titled “I Rise Today,” “I bind unto myself today the strong name of the trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three. I bind this day to me forever by power of faith in Christ’s incarnation, His baptism in the Jordan river, His death on the cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavenly way... I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to harken to my need, the wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward, the Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard. 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..." (These truths are substantiated in Patrick's Biography; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; The quote above was taken from a message I read years ago, the preacher was unknown to me)
Transitional Sentence: The first base to cover in imitating the faith of someone is to make sure that they have had a genuine conversion to Christ.
St. Patrick had a season of bondage that opened his eyes to Christ. When he was about 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; Patrick's Biography)
Listen to his confession, “I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for a father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest… I was taken captive about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people according to our sins. We were quite drawn away from God. We did not keep His precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. The Lord brought down on us the fury of His being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners. And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And He watched over me before I knew Him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and He protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.” (These truths are substantiated in Patrick's Biography; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; Times Herald; Mark Driscroll, Church History; The quote above was taken from a message I read years ago, the preacher was unknown to me)