Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick and Ministry and Faithfulness

"I am Patrick, yes - a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. I am certain in my heart that "all that I am," I have received from God. So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God." --St. Patrick

He doesn't stand alone in the long line of saints stretching through the ages of history since time began. Others too have lived among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile FOR the love of God! The honor roll of the faithful in Hebrews 11 concludes with a description that includes many unnamed saints:

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell ... who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received bck their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. they went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. --Hebrews 11:32-40

AND ALL will stand in a great throng before the throne and before the risen Lamb of God - all of these (and some of we) who have also been exiles and strangers for the love of God! It is quite a calling - not always easy, often misunderstood but with benefits that are both out-of-this-world and priceless!

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