March 18

45David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.  This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.”  (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

I was trying to write something powerful and timely for the holiday yesterday, but I had reached a point of exhaustion last night as I sat down to write.  I had an amazingly busy week.  My wonderful sister was able to bring my parents up to Savannah.  This is a long story but the significance to this is that my mother suffers from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and has allowed that disease to keep her hostage in her own home.  Since we moved back to Savannah they had not been up to visit once.  Any way, they came up, and I tried to spend as much time with them as possible, despite working extra shifts for the holiday.  If you are ever planning a trip to Savannah, the week before and after the holiday are Savannah’s busiest weeks of the year.  So, if you like having a lot of people around, this is the best time to visit.  If you want the city to yourself, don’t come to Savannah in March.

So what’s the holiday I am referring to, and why is it such a big deal in Savannah?  Well, hopefully, you already realize I am talking about Saint Patrick’s Day, and Savannah celebrates it more than many other holiday’s because, as being the oldest city in Georgia and the 13th city founded in America’s birthing, the Irish immigrants found an early safe haven in Savannah, while they were shunned in most northern cities.  Savannah has been hosting a celebratory parade since 1824, which means in three short years the parade will be celebrating 200 years!  It had grown to epic proportions lately, as social media has piqued the country’s interest in the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration of the south.  My wife and I attended the parade for the first three years we lived in the Savannah area and for the next twenty years, I’ll be in attendance, but from here out I will be working the festivals.

Unfortunately, like with most things in America, we have tainted what the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day is really about.  I wrote about this in the 2021 devotional and during my March 17 post from last year, but I want to touch on it again today, and I have a wonderful story to share with y’all tomorrow.  But for today, I wonder how many families around America took time to pause and consider the work of the man who would become a Saint named Patrick.  I had to correct my daughter yesterday when I was asking my children who Saint Patrick is and she responded with “he’s a ‘guy’ who” and she began to give me some of the lore behind this ‘guy.’  I stopped her right there and said, “Saint Patrick is not a ‘guy,’ he’s a ‘Saint.’”  And while that is a recognition given by the Catholic church, it is a testament to the livelihood of this amazing, Saintly man.

The more I learn about who Saint Patrick was, the more I want to celebrate his special day, for the right reasons.  I referenced the verses above because of the bravery of David, the blessed assurance that God will fight for those who love Him and seek Him with a righteous heart, that same bravery was in the spirit of Saint Patrick.  Saint Patrick had that confidence and blessed assurance when he faced death every day by preaching the Gospel to a godless land centuries ago.  So I raise a toast to the man who brought the truth of Christ to an ENTIRE nation, and turned Ireland from a Celtic polytheistic religion to one of the world’s strongest Christian nations.  May we all strive to be a wee bit like Saint Patrick and do our part to spread the good news of the Gospel each and every day. Click the image below to see a song by the Irish band, Rend Collective, that serves as a proper reminder of the greatness of Saint Patrick.

Reading plan:  Luke 14:1-14

Deeper reading plan:  1 Samuel 29-31

Prayer focus:  Pray for Saints and Sinners!  Pray for more of us to take on the courage to be like the Saints we celebrate, and for sinners to come to repentance and the unending love of Jesus Christ.

Keep reading and keep training!

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