Tag Archives: celebration

Racing with St. Patrick

Today we celebrate one of God’s great saints.

There will be a variety of St. Patrick Day celebrations, including road races. Many of the races will feature post-race celebrations, including green alcohol.

It has always been curious to me that a day dedicated to an evangelist and missionary should become the focus of such drinking and carousing. Not that I am against parties, since I can  enjoy post-race celebrations very much. But when people think of St. Patrick they seem to focus on the Patrick and not the Saint.

But that is even more curious, since St. Patrick was born in England, captured by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland. After serving as a shepherd for six years, he escaped and made his way back to England. During this adventure, he had a conversion to Christianity and he felt the call to preach the faith to (surprise!) the Irish people. He studied for the priesthood in France but was not a very good student. His superiors did not want him to go, but still he went. He preached all over Ireland, making converts and founding monasteries. He became a great hero, not only for Ireland, but for the Christian faith.

In his confession he wrote, “If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation, and most willingly, for his name. I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. I am deeply in his debt, for he gave me the great grace that through me many people would be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation, one people gathered by the Lord.”

St. Patrick reminds me of St. Paul.  St. Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). St. Patrick, like St. Paul, ran the good race. Maybe we should try to run like him.

Lord Jesus, teach me to run the race of life with you and your saints.

Celebration of Vibrant Life

Celebration in the midst of the darkness

What a celebration of talent and joy I experienced  Saturday night at Resurrection’s Variety Show!  I was amazed not only at the wealth of talent displayed, but by the audience participation in the show.   People were clapping, shouting, cheering and affirming all who stood on stage.  It was truly a community celebration of life and joy.  Even the Silent Auction was a  noisy buzz of activity and friendly competition.

It was a creative expression of Epiphany, the light coming in the midst of darkness.  Perhaps I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder (perhaps all Minnesotans have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder in January) but I needed a celebration in this snowy winter and the Variety Show provided it.   Joy is a hallmark of Jesus’ followers and I felt that this was a brilliant witness to that joy.  Thank you to all who made the evening vibrate with holy hilarity!

I am also struck that it was a community event in which a large part of the congregation participated.  From children to seniors, from set-up to clean-up,  each person gave to the whole.  As the body of Christ, we each have different gifts and strengths to add to the work of God in the world.   Earlier Saturday morning, a group from Resurrection went to the Disable Veteran Camp on Big Marine Lake to help assemble furniture for new cabins.   Though there was not wild cheering or applause, people experienced God’s joy as they helped others in need.  It was a celebration of service, which is a key part of the vibrant life in Christ.  

 I look forward to seeing how Resurrection Lutheran Church will continue to bear witness to Christ’s power in the world.   Every congregation is called by God to used its gifts, strengths, abilities, and passion to bring God’s light into a dark world.  Every congregation will celebrate and serve in unique ways with its own creative twist.  I am so excited to serve among God’s people here.

What creative ways have you seen congregations live out Christ’s mission?