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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 Well there he is. Icon-style. Perhaps he did indeed save civilization as Thomas Cahill suggests?

Of course, today is really about this.  How can we get an entire culture shrunk to colored beer and a shot of Guiness? Amazing what marketing can do to anything.

Chris has a parishioner whose brother died the other day. The brother was 52. I will be 52 this year. This could be my last St Patrick's Day celebration. (I have long since given up having a Gustavus Adolphus Day or even a Dag Hammarskold Day for MY heritage. Besides all our food is white, and we drink vodka. Boring.)

I know St. Patrick is way more than a green river, a parade, corned beef, and green beer. I know he is about the love God has for people of all kinds, about love for the land and its animals, about freeing us from fears that strike us in the tall grass (that's the snake thing), and about loving to read. I get that.

But there's something about being with a bunch of people, Irish for a day, who seem to think there is something to celebrate? They may be wrong, but is that so bad? Maybe our commercialized St. Patrick's Day celebrations are no longer about the saint who brought us closer to God in his life and work, and more about the "patrick" who happens to be a chance to drink beer? Patrick being an "Irish" name and all...

Many of you who read this no longer drink alcohol. Days like this use to be a high point for you, and now they are not so important, and maybe not so "fun?" Perhaps my sober alcoholic friends can keep alive what the day really should be about: living and loving God and God's people in a vibrant and fecund world? As you know, you can do that without drinking green beer...in fact, --almost assuredly--you can do it better.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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