According to his own words, here’s the best way to celebrate Patrick, the mighty man of God who brought Christ to Ireland and transformed a nation:
1) See your sins in the Light, experience godly sorrow for them, then go and sin no more. Patrick said: “The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart so that I so that I should recall my sins.”
2) Totally surrender your life and your will to Christ and passionately follow and obey Him everyday. Patrick also said: “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”
God is alive and He speaks to human beings. Patrick heard His voice in the 5th Century and you can hear Him speak to you in the 21st Century.
As a young boy Patrick was kidnapped from Britain and made a slave in Ireland. After some time God spoke clearly to him and told Patrick to escape. As Patrick obeyed God, everything fell into place for an amazing escape back to Britain. Then some years later God spoke to Patrick and told him to go back to Ireland and share the love of Jesus with the people who had been so cruel to him. As Patrick returned to love his enemies; multitudes of Irish people came to experience and follow the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. It was a repeat of the book of Acts.
God talks to me (and you) when we listen. Here’s an example that just happened a few moments ago. I’ve been misunderstood most of my life because when I was nineteen I began to experience participatory, Spirit-led church (sometimes called organic church) in college, and ever since I have longed for that type of church but never could find it. However, almost no one has understood my persist longing for something so out of the box.
Finally, 4 years ago, The Salvation Army asked my wife and me to start a non-traditional church in East Nashville. We set it up to be participatory and to obey the Bible’s instructions on how to hold a church meeting (I Corinthians 14:26). It has been awesome to see the power and Presence of Christ change lives.
Recently I discovered that our building is directly across the street from where a man’s home stood in the late 1800s (John Berry McFerrin) who also believed in participatory church and prayed for it to begin to happen in churches. Click this for a blog about him where he describes his longing for organic church.
Two days ago I was prompted to walk around the lot where McFerrin’s home once stood and pray. As I observed that the lot was covered with clover it came to my mind that this is a sign that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is/are working to release life-giving, participatory church around the world. In the center of the lot, I tebowed (knelt on one knee and prayed) as I wondered if that could be true.
A few minutes ago, as I was googling St. Patrick’s Day, I came across these words: “Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
So, if you really want to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day: Bask in the love of God, get drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit, joyfully follow and obey Jesus!
Come and experience the Presence and power of the Holy Trinity working through various individuals as they show and tell what God has done on Sunday mornings @ 10:45 & Thursday nights @ 6:30; 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.