Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm not much of a holiday person. I use up all my holiday energy on Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July and don't conserve any for the rest of them. I woke up this morning all prepared to breeze through March 17th just like it was any other day. Then I read this:

Christ ever with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me
Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ to my right side, Christ to my left side
Christ in his breadth, Christ in his length, Christ in depth
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me.*

The words are from a hymn attributed to St. Patrick himself, although it was probably written sometime after his death as a tribute to his ministry. "Born in Britain, captured as a youth, enslaved for years in Ireland as a shepherd, Patrick had little formal education, but a depth of spiritual experience. He escaped his captivity to return to Britain. Amazingly, he volunteered to return to pagan Ireland to bring the experience of Christ to his former captors. Patrick combined a intense sense of the ever present Christ with a ferocious willingness to challenge the pagan power structure. These personal aspects came together in his profound prayer life seeking Christ's protection and guidance." *

I cannot, in good conscience ignore a day set aside to honor a man so fervent in his devotion to the same God I strive to serve. Imagine living life, breathing breath, as if the Lord God himself were that present in it. So often, I look at my God as a refreshing glass of water that I can reach over and grab a drink of when I feel the need. Rather He is a churning ocean of power, love and sacrifice that I should live in, breath in, like a fish.

So we celebrated St. Patrick's Day today. We skipped the Blarney Stone and leprechauns and instead talked about how Patrick used the shamrock to explain the trinity to the pagans. We watched this cute little ditty by the Veggie Tales folks (Surprisingly informative) :

You Tube saved the day with a picture slide show of Ireland, as seen here, which served well when we talked about why we associate Ireland with the color green and also gave us a little hint of Irish music.

Irish music led me to look up Riverdance, so we watched a few of those too.

I used Google maps to show Benton where Ireland is and to talk about islands in general, then turned him loose to click through an on-line photo gallery of wildlife in Ireland while I concocted green KoolAid. (That was tough).

I've still got a shamrock craft in the works involving paint and glitter. That is how you know it's a special occasion at my house, as I am glitter-phobic 363 days a year.

It was fun learning stuff today, which is why I just had to share. Enjoy the rest of your St. Patty's Day, and may you feel and see Christ wherever you look today.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139: 5-12

*I stole the hymn and the summery of St. Pat's life from this site.


Aly sun said...

Beautifully put. Thanks for the St. Patty reminder.

Sherri said...

I love that hymn/song & verse. I will continue to celebrate today with that in mind:) (Ben and Nat are lucky to have you for their teacher)