More than Beer and Parades

We did very little, other than wearing green, to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Anders' teacher had told them yesterday about a leprechaun who was going to visit the class today. This morning he had left a trail of notes through the school that led them to a treat. So, because of the leprechaun story we watched the story of St. Patrick on the Veggie Tales Sumo of the Opera DVD last night (you can watch it on YouTube now).

Believe it or not, St. Patrick's Day hasn't always been focused on beer and parades. That didn't come around until chiefly the last 100 years after the Irish immigrated to America (though, of course, drinking beer has long been customary in Ireland). Even before St. Patrick's Day became a feast day of the church in the 1600s, it was chiefly a religious holiday, celebrating the life of Patrick--a life of evangelism, loving all of God's creation and of steadfast faith.

If all you know of St. Patrick (outside of Guinness beer, leprechauns and parades alongside green rivers) is legends of snakes and shamrocks, dig a little deeper. Even if it's just the Veggie Tales short on his life. I also recommend Stephen Lawhead's novel about Patrick's life. While it is a work of fiction, he has carefully crafted it with historical facts.

Thought it's a small part of my heritage, I love my Irish roots. Celtic Christianity has much to teach us today (see George Hunter's book The Celtic Way of Evangelism). I love Celtic culture, as well: music, art, dance. So, though I didn't get around to making some bangers and mash, soda bread or even some cabbage today, I did sport the wearin' of the green (as did all of us--Anders had at least three different shades on) in remembrance of Patrick's life and his impact on the world. Whether you're Irish or not, his life is worth celebrating (after all, everyone's Irish on March 17).

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