March 17, 2009

saint patrick's day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! No big plans for our family today. I think I might make some green beer tonight. And then I'll be off to band practice. How about you? Is there anything I should be forewarned about before attempting to make some green beverages?

When considering the day, most of us think about wearing green and consuming green food (and beer). But there is a lot to be learned from St. Patrick and those early Christians among the Celts. I would recommend anyone to pick up George G. Hunter III's, The Celtic Way of Evangelism for a short but insightful overview of the early Christian influence in Ireland. Here are a few things that I find inspiring about Patrick and his early successors, according to Hunter:
  • Love of Enemies: Patrick was from England, captured and enslaved by the Celts. He escaped and returned years later to minister to them.
  • It's Never Too Late: He returned to Ireland in what was considered at that time, old age.
  • Early Environmentalists?: Early Irish Christians had a high appreciation for the natural world and the Creators hand within it.
  • Holistic View of Faith: Similarly, the early Christians in Ireland tended towards seeing God's presence everywhere, not just in church buildings.
  • Urban Community: Rather than start monastic communities outside of town, they started theirs within villages, mixing monks and families together in one community.
  • Post[Pre?]-Colonial, Contextual and Unorthodox Ministry: Patrick and others respected the traditions and culture of those they ministered with and did their best to communicate the good news of God in a manner that related to their context–which lead them to be perceived as unorthodox and questioned to be heretical by Rome.

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