You mean St. Patrick wasn't Irish? Or a leprechaun?
The time of year that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; it’s the day we celebrate the greatest church planter since the Apostle Paul, and we do that by getting sloshed! That’s what you call irony, considering the Western church’s relationship with alcohol since prohibition, and leave it to us Americans to live in the world of extreme dualities.
If we were to take a glimpse back a little further into church history, we would discover, that it is completely appropriate, and may I add, called for, to celebrate with beer!
But does anyone know why we actually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? There has been no single character in church history that I have studied more than Patrick. Much of that has to do with his willingness to adapt Christianity to the host culture rather than attempting to convince the new culture to adopt both the faith and the sending culture (a.k.a colonization). According to Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization, which is also one of my favorite books, “In becoming an Irishman, Patrick wedded his world to theirs, his faith to their life…Patrick found a way of swimming down to the depths of the Irish psyche and warming and transforming Irish imagination – making it more humane and more noble while keeping it Irish.” In other words, rather than turning Ireland into a Holy Roman civilization via Christianity, Patrick made Christianity Irish!
In doing so, Patrick created a church that literally cared for the world around it. Not just “lost souls,“ but the environment, the well-being of “pagans,” and the entire culture of Ireland. His version of Christianity taught the people of Ireland to appreciate and celebrate their culture, to find God in it, and love both the earth, and diversity. In fact, because of this foundation, it was the Irish that literally saved civilization. Had it not been for Patrick’s holistic Christianity that swept Ireland, our world today would be a very different place. It was the monks that followed Patrick that preserved customs and classics that were being destroyed all over Europe by invading barbarians. So, while the ancient Greeks and Romans may have built the foundation that lead to the world we know, it was the Irish, modeled by Patrick, that saved it from being lost in history. And my friend, that is worth celebrating!!!
So, in light of that, let’s celebrate Patrick Knox County style - like he would’ve wanted us to! Let’s celebrate culture with good music, delicious beer, and fun with friends and family! Join us at Knox County Brewing Company this weekend - we’re open from 4-9 tonight, with live music by Turas, and from 2-9 tomorrow, with live music from a local favorite, Charlie Hayes.
May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home
May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures
May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours
- Old Irish Blessing