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St. Patrick’s Day in the morning

by davesandel on March 17th, 2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021              (today’s lectionary)


St. Patrick’s Day in the morning

Come out! Show yourselves! You shall find pasture, you shall not hunger or thirst. God will guide you beside springs of water, and cut a road through all the mountains.

The green picture book drew me right in. His family ignored Jamie and his Irish setter Nell on the last St. Patrick’s Day. Jamie was too small. Nell was too old. So this year Jamie took matters into his own hands. Early in the morning he and Nell would climb Acorn Hill, which his mother says he CANNOT do. The dancing and the parties will begin soon, all atop Acorn Hill.

As they walked Jamie played his flute.

Sing out, O heavens and rejoice, O earth. Break forth in song you mountains, for the Lord comforts his people. “I will never forget you,” says the Lord.

Along the way Jamie collects a flag, an egg, a bottle of ginger ale, a bun with cherry on top … and Nell got two jelly beans.

They reached the top in the face of all the words they’d heard about CAN’T. They celebrated. They sat down with their bottle.

Jamie took the cap off his ginger ale and drank. He poured some in his hand for Nell.

“And all of ‘em were sayin’ I was too small,” he said. What do THEY know?”

The sun jumped up like a firecracker from behind the mountain.

“A happy St. Pat’s to you, sun” Jamie shouted. The words made a great shimmer of sound in the emptiness.

Jamie stuck the green and yellow flag in the bottle and set in right in the middle of the stage.

“See?” he told Nell. That means we were here first. We did it, no matter what. Now we can go home.”

Our fifth century St. Patrick crossed the sea to return home, and then left again to spread the word of Jesus. Jamie stands heir to the tradition, which might be marked with whisky but is also marked by the spreading of the Gospel, and mostly by doing what cannot be done.

Oh, the music he’d made. They’d not hear the likes of it all day. And wait till they saw the flag! The mystery of it. The wonderin’ there’d be.

We found corned beef brisket at Evansville’s Dewig Meats, where we picked up our butchered half a beef. Of course they were also selling heads of cabbage.

My Father is at work until now, so I am also at work.

Add some celery seeds, a little fennel and as much nutmeg as you have patience to chip off the old block. Braise the cabbage in two sticks of butter, add some onions and the corned beef, boil a substantial pot of potatoes, and there’s your St. Patrick’s Day feast. I made this meal for Mom, who loves the holiday and the food. She breathed in the aroma and ate far more than was good for her. Well, maybe that was just fine, this one time.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.

Irish eyes are smiling on us today. And we are blessed on the high road, and blessed on the low road. St. Patrick rests peacefully in his grave, as the wars of religion and land are still for a moment and Ireland turns to celebration. God’s Celts cannot help but be happy.

(Isaiah 49, Psalm 145, John 11, John 5)


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