I am half Irish. Today that is more than good enough.
I recently watched a PBS television special from Dublin, Ireland of a group of talented Irish singers and musicians. The venue for the performance was inside a beautiful old cathedral. It made for quite an a emotional and dramatic setting.
I couldn’t help but think if this was not the best thing that was being heard from inside this church. I wondered if the beautiful sounds that were being produced at this performance were to be the only beautiful sounds that were to come from inside those old and hallowed walls. I couldn’t help but wonder if the sweet sound of the gospel was still being heard inside that beautiful building. Or not.
We know that in Europe, the Christian faith has taken a real beating since World War II. Secularism has taken over as the dominant belief system for the natives of most European countries and Islam has come on strong since the advent of immigration from Pakistan, Africa, and the near and middle East.
I don’t know for sure what is happening inside that church on Sunday, but I pray that the forgiveness of sins for Jesus’ sake is being heard there. I pray that however many (if it’s even still being used for worship) worshipors are sitting in those pews that the words “you are forgiven, Christ died for you“, are still being heard. I pray that His sacraments (baptism and holy communion) are still given there. I pray that it is not just a concert hall or a museum for tourists that enjoy great architecture.
So, on this fun day to celebrate our Irishness, given by the Lord, or just borrowed for the day, we hope and pray that the sweetest words that were ever uttered, “Father, forgive them” , will one day echo throughout the churches, not only in Ireland, but once again in Europe and all over the world!
May the true, loving, spirit of St. Patrick, the great missionary to Ireland, be rekindled on this day in your heart and mine.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
Oh those Martins!
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