Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Missing the point on St Patrick's Day

As I sipped my potato, leek and carrot soup*, I pondered the problem with St Patrick's Day.

It could be just the issue with Rome naming 'patron saints' like national pagan deities.

It could be the perversity that Patrick gave his life to tell the Irish of the One who'd given His life to call them out into a holy nation: and it is generally celebrated that by getting drunk and distinctly unholy.

But more, I think, it is the lesson in completely missing the point: that while Patrick, non-Irish, became Irish to the Irish in order that he might win them for Christ, call them into His new nation, new people, we spend the day celebrating Irishness. Patrick left his own shores to call the Irish to Christ, while now, those on other shores forget Christ and just want to be Irish for the day. Missing the point is rather serious in this case: it's missing Christ.

* Well, have you ever tried making red, white and blue food? Not advisable. Anyway, I hasten to add that I felt like eating soup for lunch, and only realised after cooking it that it was thus coloured.

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