Establishing a New Tradition
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the day when people who aren’t Irish wish they were. Some people wear green. Others eat Irish food—including corned beef and cabbage and green Jell-O. Maybe you cut out little shamrocks for decorating. Those are super fun, even if they don’t mean a whole lot.
The apostle Paul has a great suggestion for a meaningful tradition today: “Brothers and sisters, imitate me, and pay attention to those who live by the example we have given you” (Philippians 3:17). Today you can take note of Patrick, who, like green Jell-O, isn’t actually Irish. Instead, he was a slave who escaped and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary.
He once wrote, “After I arrived in Ireland, I tended sheep every day, and I prayed frequently during the day. More and more the love of God increased, and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved, so that in one day I would pray up to one hundred times, and at night perhaps the same. I even remained in the woods and on the mountain, and I would rise to pray before dawn in snow and ice and rain.”
This year, a great St. Patrick’s Day tradition would be to imitate Patrick, to “always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Chomp on this!
Make up your own prayer. Pray for the people whom God has put in your life, maybe who are hurting, lonely, or tired; people who are blessings to you or those who hurt you. Pray for courage to share your faith. Pray about the things that scare you or make you happy.
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