Today is a day to drink.
or is it?
St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland.
He wasn’t the first and he wasn’t the only one.
But he was a man who loved God and the people of Ireland.
Today we have lost the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day, but it does not diminish the work he did. Pretty sure when he was trekking around the beautiful wet island he wasn’t tracking his steps with his fitbit or working towards the status of sainthood. He was simply following what he felt God calling Him to do.
I have been thinking a lot about missionaries in the last month.
I know some pretty amazing ones.
Like my aunt who at the age of 50-something packed up her belongings and returned to South America to serve the street children and poor in Ecuador.
Or my friends who moved their family of 4 little boys to the other side of the world to teach English and share the love of Jesus in Thailand.
Or my cousin who has also been in Thailand serving the women in the red light district for over 4 years.
Those are the missionaries we think of when we talk about missionaries.
That’s who we pray for and support.
And well we should. They are sacrificing the comfort of their own culture, their family, and close friends for the spreading of the Gospel.
There’s also the missionaries stateside.
Like my friends in SC serving at a camp for boys that are at risk.
or my Cousin serving in CO caring for a child of an inmate.
or my friends who moved into the forgotten city of Detroit to reach the people and spread hope.
They too have sacrificed living close to their family and friends.
And they too need our prayers and support.
But the missionaries that I have been finding recently and the ones that have captured my respect are the ones right here.
Like the parents of ten children who are teaching English to the Muslim community with the Bible as a textbook.
or the couple with a brood of 5 little squirts that are inviting their neighbors into their home and bringing them into the loving arms of Jesus.
or the woman who doesn’t like to teach so she shows up early every week to make coffee and prepare snack for the teachers of our local kids club.
These are our local heroes.
There are so many out there secretly doing the work. Reaching out. Sharing love.
Jesus said, “ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Even the one we live in.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We like to think Jesus called a few to go out and the rest are called to support them.
He did. and we are.
But that doesn’t mean we are off the hook.
He didn’t say, “Some of you go and make disciples”
He said, “Go”
Sorry dudes, but that means all of us.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,”
Basically if you got the Holy Spirit, you gots to share it.
Having kids is not an excuse to keep it to yourself. Being old is not an excuse to keep it. Being poor is not an excuse. Supporting other missionaries is not an excuse. Not knowing how is not an excuse.
Get out there and share Jesus.
Let this day, the day we remember a great missionary, be a reminder to you to be a missionary. every day. right where you are.
Because Jesus commanded it.