Today is the day we will all probably see more people wearing green than any other day of the year; because, today is St. Patrick’s Day. What do you think of when you see green? Do you think of the Irish? Do you think of Ireland? Pistachios?
I believe that St. Patrick and I share at least one thing in common, we both associate the color green with going. I make this association largely due to the color of our traffic lights, but not so with Patrick…
Patrick was born about 389AD in Britain and died on March 17, 461AD. His father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest. During Patrick’s lifetime, Roman protection of England had deteriorated and bands of Irish invaders tormented coastal areas pillaging farms, slaughtering villagers, and kidnapping teens. Patrick was taken as a slave by the Irish invaders at the age 16. Somehow during his enslavement, Patrick accepted Jesus as Savior. “The Lord opened to me a sense of my unbelief, that I might be converted with all my heart unto the Lord”, Patrick later wrote.
Following a daring escape at age 22, Patrick returned home to joyous parents who prayed that he would never again leave; however, Patrick’s heart burned for his former captors in Ireland. Patrick would later write that even his dreams were filled with images of Irishmen begging him to return to Ireland and preach the Gospel of Jesus.
After several years of Bible study, Patrick left his homeland and returned to Ireland as a missionary. The Irish were almost completely unevangelized at the time. They worshipped the elements, seeing evil spirits in trees and stones, and frequently engaged in the practice of magic and human sacrifice, performed by the druids. “It very much becomes us,” Patrick wrote, “to stretch our nets, that we may take for God a copious and crowded multitude.” And so he did.
Patrick planted 200 churches in Ireland and baptized approximately 100,000 converts. His life was frequently in danger and attempts against his life and violent opposition from civil authorities was common; but, this did not distract or stop Patrick in his mission. When Patrick looked upon the green isle of Ireland, green always meant go.
In Acts 1:7-8 Jesus speaks to His disciples regarding the Holy Spirit and power. Often, I hear people teach that this power in Acts is some sort of supernatural manifestation of the power of God that gives the believer great strength or abilities… Consider with me the text in the simplicity of itself, and allow the second half of verse 8 to explain what the power of God in the life of a believer looks like:
And He [Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Lord Jesus commands believers to witness of Him to the world. This is not an option, and this is not a burden – this is our great privilege and honor. Do you want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit? Then, go and witness.
Today, when you see green remember that you the green is worn to remember the obedience of one for the blessing of many in the power of the Spirit at the command of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit empowers, the Lord Jesus calls, we respond.
Green means Go.