I once loved St. Patrick’s Day. It was not because I was interested in Irish culture or the true history of the island, but because I would get drunk. Thankfully I no longer drink to excess since the Lord Jesus Christ saved me by His grace (Ephesians 5:18).
Drinking is the main focus of the festival. It is to get drunk and to wrap Ireland in as many myths about Patrick’s activities as possible. The Patrick of myth and legend is preferred to the true Patrick of history. The real Patrick would hate this abomination of a festival!
It says a lot about a culture when it has no interest in its actual real history. There is an escapist attitude in Ireland as reality is all too horrible to deal with it seems. That attitude I once had, of blocking out reality with drink, and sometimes drugs, was my rejection of my conscience before God. We were all created in God’s image, but since the fall of man, through Adam’s sin, the human race has rebelled against the law of God written on their heart. We are totally depraved. This is the condition of all mankind since the fall.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” -Genesis 1:26-27
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” -Ephesians 2:1-3
The real Patrick of history, who came to Ireland with the gospel of grace, would hate all the things that the Irish now associate with his name. Patrick was a man who was saved by the grace of God alone. His own writings can be freely read by any that care to read them. After his conversion from his lost condition Patrick wrote:
“[B]efore I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and He that is mighty came and in His mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for His great favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure.”
Patrick received a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). He was born again!
He now had new affections and he now loved God. This means he began to hate the sin he once loved. Before this Patrick hated God in his lost condition.
“More and more did the love of God, and my fear of Him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number; besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.”
Do you hate reality so much that your joy is in such a festival as this? Is there is so little true joy and contentment in your own life that you need to turn to drink and drugs for an artificial high? If so, this shows how you will do anything to run from your conscience.
-Romans 1:18 (1599 Geneva Bible)
Don’t run from your conscience to drink and drugs. Run to Christ and flee from your sin as Patrick of Ireland once did!
“[T]he Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance.”
-Patrick of Ireland