Stewarding God's gifts.
Something to think about
If I was thinking in purely earthly terms, I’m not sure I’d ever understood why Patrick came back to Ireland. Captured, brought to this land in captivity and forced to work as a slave – it would be easy to empathise with him if he’d decided he never wanted to see any of the forty shades of green again! Of course, we shouldn’t be thinking in purely earthly terms – because neither did Patrick.
Ireland is the land where he met with the true God, where he came to own the faith of his fathers. And when he had a divinely inspired dream calling him back, he came – with boldness and faithfulness. The rest is history. Patrick was the first of the Saints and Scholars, and he started a movement a millennium-and-a-half ago which still continues today: that branch of the church of Jesus Christ here in Ireland. I wonder if we long for gospel to spread in Ireland the way Patrick so clearly did? Do we respond to that longing with his level of commitment – with boldness and faithfulness?
Much of Patrick’s story has faded into mythology, but the story of Jesus, of salvation, which he brought to this land, certainly has not. The writer of Deuteronomy, in this song, reminds of the faithfulness of God throughout the generations. That’s a faithfulness that has been handed down in Ireland since Patrick. It’s so important for the church in this generation to remember that we are stewards – stewards of God’s creation, stewards of Christ’s church and most importantly, stewards of the gospel of Christ. Let us, in these days, look to the saints of our history, the generations that went before, and commit to living out the same call to stewardship of God’s gifts that Patrick did.
Something to pray
Today's contribution is by the Rev Adrian Dorrian. Adrian is married to Anne and they live in Downpatrick, where he is the vicar in the Lecale Area Mission Partnership – the part of the Church of Ireland that includes Saint Patrick’s burial site at Down Cathedral. He is also the president of the Church Mission Society Ireland.