Well, it's that time of year again. That time of year when week long festivities take place in churches and drinking establishments alike. When people don their green apparel and raise a mug (many, many mugs) of green beer clinking and drinking to the memory and honour of a man they, for the most part, know nothing about.
Patrick (yes, a "saint", but not in the Roman Catholic sense of the word and I have my doubts about him being all robed up in silk and lace the way he's depicted in the photo below) was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He was born a Roman citizen in 387AD (no, he was not Irish) in then Roman occupied Britannia (Scotland). He was kidnapped at 16 and sold as a slave to Ireland. It was during his years there when God convicted him as a sinner in need of a Saviour and he was graciously given the gifts of repentance and faith in Christ.
He later was able to escape from Ireland but back home he could not escape what God was calling him to do: go back to the land of his captivity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole country. Against the wishes of his church, family and friends he obeyed and at great risk to his life, Patrick went back to Ireland and began a ministry of evangelism via, among other ways, open air preaching.
Christianity was nowhere to be found in Ireland at that time. But God granted Patrick 40 years of time to do this work and within that period he travelled throughout ALL Ireland and the Lord saw to it that the majority of these celtic people were converted from pagan worship to biblical Christianity. Patrick was successful in chasing the 'snakes' (false religions) out and bringing the truth in. Within his 40 years of evangelizing, it is estimated that he planted over 365 churches throughout the Isle of Green.
Patrick was a brave soldier of Christ, a Christian missionary, a dedicated gospel harbinger, a loving pastor, an avid church planter among other things. I can't help but wonder if those today who celebrate St Patrick would continue to celebrate St Patrick if they really knew who St Patrick was and what he did that made him so famous. He preached Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sin.
St Patrick's Day is celebrated today by the very kind of people St Patrick sought out to bring the gospel to, namely sinners, that they may be saved from the eternal wrath of God in hell and brought to a saving knowledge of Christ, the Lord, be granted forgiveness and eternal life in Heaven.
That being so, our intrepid team of street evangelists from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ottawa, (minus yours truly as I was at home suffering through a cold) braved the below freezing temperatures to put into the hands of participants and viewers at the annual St Patrick's Day Parade, a tract containing the same gospel message St Patrick would have preached to the people of pagan Ireland 1500 years ago.
In three different places along the parade route was one of our team standing with an "Are You Ready" cross while the others handed out gospel tracts. The cross was effective again in gaining the attention of some curious enough to ask the holder the meaning behind the question from which gospel conversations ensued.
Civic events such as these are a no-brainer when it comes to sharing the gospel at. Of all events we go to this one carries the most irony because it is in honour of a biblical Christian without the partakers knowing what that can truly mean for them.
So we are there to inform them and, Lord willing, we'll be back again next year. One member of our team even came up with the idea of us actually being IN the parade. Why not? Ever see a green evangelist before?
3 hours ago