By: Sam Chan
St Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday. But even if we’re not Irish, we can pretend to be Irish on St Patrick’s Day by having a good time and sharing a drink.
But what are we celebrating on St Patrick’s Day? The day celebrates St Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.
But what on earth does Christianity have in common with being Irish?
So I googled “what’s so great about being Irish?”
According to Enda Veres, it’s “Our love of music, dance, poetry, and deep spiritual contemplation that keep us very human, sassy and yet still humble.”
Mike Collins says, it’s “a love of hospitality and extended celebrating!”
Interestingly, during his lifetime, Jesus was criticised for all these exact qualities that we love the Irish for – knowing how to have fun, showing a healthy disrespect for authority, sticking up for the common person, and never backing down from what he thought was right.
Surely, on St Patrick’s Day, the Irish would love to appropriate for themselves Jesus’ description of himself: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” (Luke 7:34)
But Jesus didn’t just have a good time for the sake of a good time. He was celebrating the return of those who had wandered. Those who were far away had come back. Those who were “dead to God” were now alive.
For Jesus, that was worth having a good time and sharing a drink for. And, it was also something worth dying for, just to make happen.
Article supplied with thanks to Espresso Theology.
About the Author: Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.