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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, March 16, 2009


According to MSN Encyclopedia, Encarta, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a missionary in the 5th century who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock, because of its three leaves, to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to the Irish people. The shamrock is now the national emblem of Ireland. Legend says that Saint Patrick also drove the snake out of Ireland, but others say, there never were any snakes on the Emerald Isle. Perhaps the snakes were in the form of the serpent who tempted Eve in the garden and merely a descriptive way of remembering the non-Christian practices before the people’s conversion. According to Encarta, “celebrating St. Patrick’s Day has been a tradition in the United States since 1737, when the Charitable Irish Society of Boston organized the first St. Patrick’s Day parade. New York City’s parade began in 1762. St. Patrick's Day was even acknowledged by General George Washington during the American Revolution. In 1780, during the Continental Army’s bitter winter encampment in Morristown, New Jersey, Washington permitted his troops, many of whom were of Irish descent, a holiday on March 17. This event is now known as the St. Patrick's Day Encampment of 1780.” Now, people of many religious beliefs celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.

It is said, on March 17th, everyone is Irish, with the wearing of the green which is reminiscent of the glorious lush emerald countryside of Ireland. For Christians, I believe it is a time to think about how many people we have brought to Christ. As I said, since Saint Patrick may have used the shamrock, a three leafed clover, as an object lesson, I would like to encourage us all to wear a shamrock tomorrow on Saint Patrick’s day and tell at least one person that the three leaves of the shamrock can represent the Holy Trinity, continuing to witness to others on behalf of our Lord. Let us pray:

“My loving God, father of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I bow before you, for you are holy. All the angels of heaven sing your praises and I open my heart to hear those songs each day. I ask you to receive my willing heart, oh God, to spread the message of your love, grace, and salvation to all those I meet. Give me the courage to speak out about your Son and the presence of your Holy Spirit in my life, by pointing out the little clover on my lapel. Forgive me when I have not seized the opportunity to speak out for you due to my own reticence. I give my quiet voice to you as well, that you may speak to others without my even being aware. For all your gifts and blessings, I humbly thank you and praise you, for only you are worthy of praise. In the name of, and by the power of, your sweet son, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to his love. Let me tell you mine.”

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