Daily Lectionary: Genesis 35:1-29; Mark 9:33-50
I bind unto myself today, The strong name of the Trinity By invocation of the same, The Three in One and One in Three (I Bind Unto Myself Today, LSB 604:1)
Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We’ve all heard the myths about St. Patrick. He was a Christian missionary who is known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. His day brings green beer, four-leaf clovers, and leprechauns.
The real history is full of what seem to be myths, too! The Irish annals, written in the Sixth Century, say that Patricius arrived in Ireland in 432 AD. In his own Confession, Patrick says he was captured by pirates at age 16 and was a slave for six years. During this time, God was merciful to him, forgave his many youthful sins, and taught him the Christian faith. After his escape, and in the midst of many adventures, he returned home. He was encouraged by a vision of Bishop Victorius to go to Ireland. After his ordination into the priesthood, Patrick took the Gospel back to Ireland.
Hear his Gospel: “I bind this day to me forever, By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation, His Baptism in the Jordan river, His cross of death for my salvation, His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavenly way, His coming at the day of doom. I bind unto myself today” (LSB 604:2). Jesus alone saves.
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t about the myths surrounding Patrick. Today is about the Gospel that Patrick preached. We don’t know much about Patrick, but we know his letters always began with the words: “I, Patrick, a sinner.” Shamrocks today have meaning because he used them to explain the Trinity to the pagan Druids. The snake he drove out of Ireland was the devil who enslaved the pagans. We celebrate today because of his confession, his breastplate, which points us to Christ.
Patrick preached that God sent His Son into our flesh to save us from our sins, from death, and from the power of the devil. Jesus was betrayed into the hands of sinners, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. After three days, the same Jesus who died for us also rose for us. He ascended on high and now sits at the right hand of God, working all things out for our good. On the Last Day, He will come in glory to save us.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! God be praised for the apostle to Ireland. More than that, God be praised for the Gospel that Patrick preached. “Salvation is of Christ, the Lord” (LSB 604:4). Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. George Borghardt