Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. – Philippians 1:18-26
St. Patrick, “the patron saint of Ireland,” has captured the fancy of millions of people through the ages. Even those who haven’t a clue what the man really stood for pay him tribute on this day by marching in parades and wearing green. Some people even get drunk to celebrate the occasion, but these people dishonor the memory of that great man who first brought Christianity to Ireland!
Patrick, who was actually born in Scotland, was kidnapped as a young lad by a band of marauding pirates. These pirates bound Patrick, took him to Ireland, and sold him as a slave to a druid chieftain. Patrick said of this experience, “It was while I ate the bitter bread of that hateful servitude in a foreign land, that the light divine broke upon my benighted soul and I called to remembrance the holy things which I had been taught in my dear old home…” Patrick’s heart was transformed, and he became a new creature in Jesus Christ. By faith in the Redeemer, by a trust in the blood shed for his sins, this young man in the depths and darkness of the forests of Ireland found the Savior of the world.
After six years of slavery, Patrick escaped. But he had vowed revenge—the noble revenge of sharing the gospel with the very people who had held him captive! Patrick believed that God had called him to return to the land of his slavery. The Encyclopedia Britannica declares that Patrick himself baptized one hundred and twenty thousand persons.
St. Patrick—echoing the apostle Paul, who said, “For me, to live is Christ”—said, “For me, life is Christ.” If you would know life to its fullest, then you, too, would echo what St. Patrick came to learn—that to live is Christ…that life is Christ!
How can you live your life for Christ on this St. Patrick’s Day?
God’s might to direct me, God’s power to protect me. —ST. PATRICK
– D. James Kennedy,