Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MAEWYN SUCAT - THE TRUTH ABOUT "SAINT" PATRICK

                                                                MAEWYN SUCAT


HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER FELT THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED BY GOD.  IN FACT ALL OF US HAVE BEEN CALLED BY GOD, ALL OF US HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST, UNFORTUNATELY MANY NEVER HEED THAT CALL, NEVER ALLOW GOD TO USE THEM.


THIS IS A STORY OF HOW ONE MAN CAN CHANGE THE DESTINY OF A NATION.


OUR STORY BEGINS IN 389 AD WHEN IN A SMALL BRITISH VILLAGE IN WHAT IS NOW SCOTLAND, A BOY NAMED MAEWYN SUCAT WAS BORN.  MAEWYN WAS BORN INTO A CHRISTIAN FAMILY, A FATHER WHO WAS A DEACON IN THE LOCAL CHURCH AND A GRANDFATHER WHO WAS A MINISTER.

DESPITE MAEWYN’S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE, HE DID NOT CHOOSE TO MAKE A COMMITMENT TO CHRIST AS A YOUNG MAN.  TRAGEDY STRUCK WHEN MAEWYN WAS 16, AN EVENT THAT WOULD NOT ONLY CHANGE HIS LIFE, BUT WOULD ALSO CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY, MAEWYN’S VILLAGE WAS ATTACKED BY PIRATES WORKING FOR THE IRISH KING NIAL AND MAEWYN WAS TAKEN CAPTIVE AS A SLAVE.

MAEWYN WAS SOLD TO A DRUID CHIEFTAIN MILCHO, FOR WHOM HE TENDED CATTLE IN THE NORTH OF IRELAND. THE DRUIDS WERE PAGAN AND GIVEN TO SOME PRETTY EVIL RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES. SOME OF WHICH INCLUDED CHILD SACRIFICE.  WE GET MUCH OF OUR MODERN DAY HALLOWEEN CUSTOMS FROM THE DRUIDS.

IT WAS WHILE ISOLATED IN NORTHERN IRELAND THAT, AFTER UNDOUBTEDLY WITNESSING THE DRUIDS TERRIBLE PRACTICES, THAT MAEWYN BEGAN TO CALL ON THE GOD OF THE BIBLE.  MAEWYN WRITES OF THIS TIME, “FREQUENTLY IN THE NIGHT, I PRAYED AND THE LOVE OF GOD AND HIS FEAR INCREASED MORE AND MORE IN ME.”  IT WAS DURING HIS SIX YEARS IN SERVITUDE THAT MAEWYN DEVELOPED A STRONG CHRISTIAN FAITH BASED ON THE TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST.

AFTER SIX YEARS, MAEWYN HAD A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE IN WHICH HE BELIEVED HE HEARD GOD TELL HIM TO ESCAPE, AND SO HE EMBARKED ON A 200 MILE JOURNEY, BUY FOOT, TO MEET UP WITH A SHIP THAT WOULD TAKE HIM BACK HOME TO HIS PARENTS IN BRITON.
ARRIVING HOME HIS PARENTS WERE OVERJOYED GAVE HIM A BIG WELCOME. AND HIS MOTHER MADE HIM PROMISE TO NEVER LEAVE HOME AGAIN, BUT GOD HAD OTHER PLANS.

ONE NIGHT MAEWYN HAD A DREAM IN WHICH A MAN FROM IRELAND PRESENTED HIM WITH A LETTER BEGGING HIM TO COME BACK TO IRELAND AND TEACH THE GOSPEL.  HE BELIEVED THAT THIS CALL CAME FROM GOD.

MAEWYN WAS PART OF THE CELTIC CHURCH TRADITION WHICH HELD TO BIBLICAL ACCURACY, SO AFTER YEARS OF STUDY, MAEWYN LEFT ONCE MORE FOR IRELAND, BUT THIS TIME AS GOD’S PROPERTY, NOT THAT OF A PAGAN CHIEF.  AT THE AGE OF 40 MAEWYN LEFT FOR IRELAND TO TEACH THE GOSPEL OF THE BIBLE.  IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT HE CHANGED HIS NAME TO THE NAME THAT WE KNOW HIM BY, PATRICK.

AFTER ABOUT A YEAR IN IRELAND, PATRICK MADE A BOLD MOVE TO FURTHER THE GOSPEL.  REMEMBER, IRELAND WAS A PAGAN NATION, THE PEOPLE DID DEPLORABLE THINGS IN THE NAME OF RELIGION.  ONE SUCH THING THEY DID WAS TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY OF ISHTAR, OR IN OUR LANGUAGE, EASTER.  ISHTAR WAS THOUGHT TO BE THE WIFE OF THE SUN GOD AND TO HONOR HER, THEY WOULD SACRIFICE BABIES AS AN OFFERING TO HER.  IN FACT, SOME CULTURES WERE KNOWN TO DIP EGGS IN THE BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICED BABIES. AS IT WAS APPROACHING THE FEAST IF EASTER, PATRICK CAME UP WITH A PLAN TO PLACE THE GOSPEL TO THE FOREFRONT.

IN CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF EASTER, FIRES WOULD BE LIT THE NIGHT BEFORE.  KING LOIGAIRE OF TARA, DECREED THAT NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO LIGHT A FIRE UNTIL HE HIMSELF LIT HIS LARGE FIRE.  TO DRAW ATTENTION, PATRICK LIT NOT ONLY A FIRE, BUT A BONFIRE, WHICH CERTAINLY ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF THE KING OF TARA.    THE KING CALLED PATRICK INTO HIS PRESENCE TO EXPLAIN HIMSELF AND O EASTER MORNING, PATRICK STOOD BEFORE THE KING AND PROCLAIMED THAT JESUS WAS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.  TRADITION TELLS US THAT PATRICK PICKED A SHAMROCK AND USED IT TO EXPLAIN THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY TO THE KING.  THREE LEAVES GOING OUT FROM ONE STEM.  THREE, BUT ONE, GOD BEING 3 PERSONS, YET STILL ONE.

THE KING OF TARA BELIEVED THE GOSPEL MESSAGE CARRIED BY PATRICK AND WAS BAPTIZED AS A BELIEVER IN CHRIST.  THIS STARTED A WAVE OF REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION ACROSS THE ISLAND OF SCOTLAND.  PAGANISM GAVE WAY TO TRUTH, SO MUCH SO WAS THE DRUID’S STRONGHOLD OVER THE  PEOPLE CRUSHED, THAT VERY LITTLE OF WHAT DRUID’S BELIEVED AND TAUGHT SURVIVED.  THE NATION WAS TRANSFORMED AND FLOURISHED FOR OVER 600 YEARS.

PATRICK PLANTED OVER 360 CHURCHES THROUGHOUT IRELAND AND MANY MONASTERIES WHERE YOUNG MEN WOULD LEARN THE BIBLE AND THEN GO FORTH AS MISSIONARIES, NOT JUST THROUGHOUT BRITON AND IRELAND, BUT INTO GERMANY AND FRANCE AND OTHER PARTS OF WESTERN EUROPE.  TODAY WE STILL COMMEMORATE THE DAY OF HIS DEATH, MARCH 17.  MUCH MYTH AND LEGEND IS ATTACHED TO HIS LIFE AND WORK, IN FACT, IN THE 1100’S THE ROMAN CHURCH CLAIMED PATRICK FOR ITS OWN AND CREATED A FICTIONAL HISTORY FOR HIM.  PATRICK WAS NEITHER, NOR CATHOLIC, NOR WAS HE EVER EVEN OFFICIALLY CANONIZED BY THE CHURCH OF ROME AS A SAINT.  BUT THE POINT IS THAT PATRICK REVOLUTIONIZED HIS WORLD, BY TAKING HIS FAITH TO THE FAITHLESS.

THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WE FIND PEOPLE WHO ARE USED MIGHTILY BY GOD, NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE ESPECIALLY TALENTED, BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE WILLING.  WILLING TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD, WILLING TO TRUST GOD, WILLING TO OBEY THAT VOICE.  WHAT IS GOD CALLING YOU TO DO TODAY.  MAYBE GOD IS NOT CALLING YOU TO GO TO A PAGAN NATION, PROBABLY HE IS NOT, BUT I BET HE IS TUGGING ON YOUR HEART FOR SOMETHING. MAYBE TO SUPPORT A MISSIONARY, MAYBE TO START A PRAYER CHAIN, OR HOST A BIBLE STUDY IN YOUR HOME, MAYBE EVEN TO TEACH.  WHAT IF YOUNG MAEWYN HAD IGNORED THE CALL OF GOD?  WHAT IS GOD CALLING YOU TO DO?  WHERE IS GOD CALLING YOU TO GO.  PETER WAS CALLED TO GO TO THE ROMAN CENTURION WITH THE GOSPEL, WHICH OPENED THE DOOR FOR THE GENTILES TO ENTER THE CHURCH.  GENTILES WERE ODIOUS TO PETER, IRISH WERE ODIOUS TO PATRICK, AND OF COURSE WE REMEMBER JONAH WHO WENT TO THE CITY OF NINEVEH.  WHOM HE HATED, AND PREACHED TO THEM GOD’S WORD.  LET GOD’S SPIRIT SPEAK TO YOU TODAY, THAT YOU MIGHT NOT MISS OUT ON BLESSINGS ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.

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