Tuesday, March 17

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.   But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8.

Jesus’ final words to his disciples here, and in Matthew 28:20 (go make disciples) is about connecting people to himself. No matter our condition, we are still about that same task.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Although modern culture has changed the focus of March 17 to partying and wearing green, the core of this man’s life is worth re-discovering. When he was about 16, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a  slave  to Ireland. He lived there for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a Christian pastor, he returned to northern and western Ireland where he brought the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is credited with beginning the movement which brought salvation to the Irish people. Out of a place of slavery, Patrick was led to bring good news to the people who had enslave him. Instead of focusing on his condition and suffering he was led to serve others with hope and joy.

During these days of adjusting to a worldwide pandemic, you and I are bringers of joy to those who are anxious and afraid. Instead of focusing on our condition, God leads us to trust in our savior and seek to being encouragement to others.

Dear Lord, thank you that you are with me during these trying times. Thank you that you are with me to provide for my needs and to fill me with hope. Lord, please provide healing to the sick. Please provide strength to health care workers. Please be with those whose livelihood is impacted at this time. Please help me to sense your call to serve those in need around me. Please inspire me to be a “bringer of joy.” Amen.