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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saint Patrick and the Shamrock

As this week was full of festivities to celebrate the life of Saint Patrick its a good time to remember how he taught the people of Ireland about God.  He used something that is universal, the shamrock.  I know it grows in Texas and I'm pretty sure it grows all over the world.  It comes up each spring as a sign of life.  Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to show the trinity.  At the time Ireland were Druids who believed in many gods.  Saint Patrick picked up the green plant and held it in the air.
He said the Shamrock is one plant but has three parts. Just like God is one God but has three parts.  There is God the father, God the son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit.  He explained God the father sits on the throne of grace.  Holy, holy holy is the Lord God almighty.  His son Jesus sits on the right hand side of his throne as the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  He paid the price for all the times humanity has sinned against God and broken the ten commandments.  The Holy Spirit is our counselor, our comforter and guide to truth.  The Spirit gives us the gift of faith.   


FATHER:
    • "Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from Everlasting" (Isaiah 63:16).
    • "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto Everlasting Life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed" (John 6:27).
SON:
    • "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
    • "27 My sheep hear My Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: 28 and I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are One. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from My Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me? 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; 36 say ye of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"(John 10:27-36)
SPIRIT:
    • "And the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1:2).
    • "7 Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:7-10).



Saint Patrick wrote notes about the Trinity in his autobiography called the Confession.  






hus in his Confession, he records an ancient Irish creed of faith in the Trinity:
“[T]here is no other God, nor ever was, nor will be, than God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, the Lord of the universe, as we have been taught; and His son Jesus Christ, whom we declare to have always been with the Father, spiritually and ineffably begotten by the Father before the beginning of the world, before all beginning; and by Him are made all things visible and invisible. He was made man, and, having defeated death, was received into heaven by the Father; and He has given Him all power over all names in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess to Him that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe, an whose advent we expect soon to be, judge of the living and of the dead, who will render to every man according to his deeds; and He has poured forth upon us abundantly the Holy Spirit, the gift and pledge of immortality, who makes those who believe and obey sons of God and joint heirs with Christ; and Him do we confess and adore, one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name” (Confession of St. Patrick 4 [A.D. 452]).

I took a picture of this beautiful stain glass window in a little country church in Ireland. Patrick started three hundred churches.  He was a true missionary of his faith and relied on the Holy Spirit to not be afraid even when there were many attempts on his life.  He relied on the Holy Spirit to give him wisdom as he preached to the Irish people.  Saint Patrick was only one life but influenced many.  He was a lesson in forgiveness and faith.  

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