Last year I posted this article on why I choose not to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And yes, this header certainly looks like I’m reneging on that post. But let me just say, I still stand behind each one of the points I made in last year’s blog post. I do not believe that the missionary, Patrick, would have appreciated what this day of “honouring him” has become.
However, that being said, I have spent some time this past week re-thinking St. Patrick’s Day.
In last year’s article, I explained how some believe that St. Patrick’s Day is a day for “spiritual renewal and offering of prayers for missionaries worldwide.” (source unknown) This phrase actually stuck with me, HARD! And as I started seeing the shamrocks and the leprechauns floating around the internet and stores the past few weeks, I was again reminded of it and started to re-think my idea of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
What if, instead of teaching my children about leprechauns, I taught them about a missionary? What if, instead of seeing a shamrock as “lucky” – I started teaching them about how this missionary, Patrick, used a regular clover (something God created!) to teach about the Trinity?
~And a huge light bulb went on over my head!~
And again, let me just say, if you do choose to celebrate with these symbols and others, I am not condemning. This is my own personal preference and something I wanted to share with others.
I love the spiritual connotations that can be taken from this cultural holiday and this year I am excited about sharing them with Little Man.
I am a big supporter of missions. Many of my friends are missionaries all over the world. I have gone to many of these places myself and seen the need for missionaries. I even admit that Canada needs more missionaries! I want God to use me as a missionary here at home.
But, in the essence of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to come up with something to teach Little Man (and in the future, Little Miss) to pray for our missionaries and to think of them often. What missionaries do in leaving their homes and everything they know is special. It takes hard work, dedication to the Gospel, and a lot of emotional support (that comes mostly through prayer) to stay in the country they believe God has sent them to.
To help encourage Little Man to pray for those missionaries we know, I have created a simple printable for him to colour that we can mail to the missionaries our church supports. Our church is small and we support 5 missionaries so it’s perfectly do-able for us. In future years we may choose other missionaries and see where the Lord leads from there.
I also wanted to make it fun, because nobody likes to be bored all the time! We are going to use glitter and paint to decorate the pages (he is so into painting right now!)
And to make this lesson a little more interesting I am going to make Shamrock cut-out cookies with Little Man. Those who know him know how much he loves his cookies! I’ll use them to teach him about the Trinity, the same way Patrick did so many years ago.
I am so excited to be able to share this printable with you. Even if you choose not to use it for St. Patrick’s Day, you can edit it ad remove the heading on the page and use it to teach your children about the Biblical principle of prayer.
To download, just click on the link and save to your desktop:
I’d love to hear from you:
~What are some ways you let your missionaries know that you are praying for them?
photo: wikipedia (open source)