Scripture: Psalm 22
Key verse: (24) For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
Reflection: Lets start this Friday with a pop quiz.
Who was the first public person in Europe to successfully crusade against slavery?
Patricius, in the fifth century (more commonly known as St. Patrick).
When he was 16, this Roman (Briton) man was captured by Irish pirates (which sounds like they would be fun but slave traders are rarely, in fact never, great company) and sold to a tribal chief in Ireland. For the next six years of his life, Patrick toiled as a slave herding cattle until one night in a dream he heard a voice saying “Your ship is ready”. He escaped, made his way to the shore and boarded the prophesied boat.
What did he do with his freedom? Returned to Ireland of course. You see while there he fell in love with his captor’s culture and also converted to Christianity. After receiving another dream, he felt he had to return and further spread the Gospel to a country and people he dearly loved. In Patrick’s 30 or so years of ministry he planted 700 churches and witnessed a third of the 150 clans convert to Christianity. His efforts to eliminate slavery led, shortly after his lifetime, to the complete abolishment of the Irish slave trade.
So on this St. Patrick’s day you might wish to celebrate by dressing in green, sipping on a Guinness and kissing the Blarney stone. Or, you might revisit those ridiculous dreams of yours where God has spoken some reckless word that made you wonder if you were living as fully and faithfully as you might dare, as you might once have imagined.
May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Author: Derek Macleod
Information on Saint Patrick came from: The Celtic Way of Evangelism by George G. Hunter III
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].