I HAVE NEVER PAID MUCH ATTENTION TO ST. PATRICK’S DAY for several reasons. One, I wasn’t Irish (so I thought), 2. it was a “Catholic thing,” and 3. it was full of the “luck of the Irish,” green beer, little green mythical Leprechauns, and shamrocks, all of which had no allure or meaning to me as a Christian.
The Real Patrick of St. Patrick’s Day
But in the last few years I have been surprised to learn more information about the REAL St. Patrick. I’ve watched a couple of short documentaries about him where I learned he was actually a boy/teenage slave in Ireland, who at the time almost didn’t believe in God at all, even though he had Christian parents. I then learned he was incredibly “prophetic” having several significant dreams and experiences from God which led him to return to his slave-nation to preach the gospel, and almost self-handedly founded Christianity there among the pagan Druids. The more I learn about this man, the more impressed I am.
So today I don’t mind paying tribute to an incredible man who’s life message was there is a cost to discipleship, but it’s a cost Christ will help you to pay. One of St. Patrick’s famous quotes was “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”
Why the Shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day?
Where did the shamrock come in? In an effort to teach the Druid pagans about the one true God, and knowing they loved nature, he used the three leafed shamrock to teach them about God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. Too sad that today it has come to represent “luck,” but we can change it back to it’s original meaning.
So when donning something green today (as I did – quite by accident!), and dishing out Lucky Charms cereal to your kids for breakfast, don’t forget to teach them the true meaning of the shamrock, and why we don’t celebrate Leprechauns, but we actually celebrate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and a great Christian man who is still an example to us today of what forgiveness really is, staying true to our faith even in persecution, and the importance of spreading the gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus.
My Surprise Irish Roots
Now…as for not being Irish — to my GREAT surprise, I did the Ancestry.com DNA test believing it would confirm my German roots, and a connection to Native American culture because through my father’s side we can trace our German ancestry all the way back to the 1500s. Through my maternal grandfather’s side, we can trace our family all the way back the Cherokee, NC. (No, I am not related to “Pocahontas” Senator Elizabeth Warren–we actually have historical evidence!) However, according to my DNA I have zero Native America blood, only a trace of German blood, and I am primarily European with the largest percentage of that as IRISH!! Who knew? Well, as it turns out both my grandmothers were English-Irish. Apparently more Irish than we knew!
But my most significant DNA is to the Kingdom of Heaven as an adopted daughter of the Most High God!
So HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!
DID YOU KNOW ST. PATRICK RAISED THE DEAD?
Check out my curriculum Our Amazing God which goes into great detail explaining the Trinity in kid-friendly, eye-opening ways–17 lessons in all–9 lessons on the Trinity! It teaches kids how each person of the Trinity relates to us and what role they play in our lives everyday. Click here to see more details.
This is my grandfather, Rev. James F. Pepper, who always believed he was 50% Cherokee Indian. It played a significant role in his life as he trumpeted the causes of the Native American Christian movement in the Assembly of God denomination for over 50 years