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A Prayer of Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day
By Meg Bucher

“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.” - Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

The construction paper shamrocks flipped through my fingers, filled with what my classmates thought about me. A stinging sense of who I was became palpable to me as warm tears stung as I sat alone. It was their goodbye to me, their telling of all the ways they loved me and would miss me. At eight years old, the impact of the people God had placed in my life was already beginning to take root in the depths of my heart, which would take years to understand. Perhaps the most touching of all the words and sentiments was that each classmate had written their message on a shamrock, and they had all been tied together by a teacher who undoubtedly noticed more about us … about me. 

Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, our ethnicity united us, each celebrating their own heritage and all of us learning those things about each other and our families. I am Irish. My mom crocheted shamrocks and pinned them to our green sweaters for St. Patrick’s Day every year. We ate corned beef and cabbage, and she would adorn a shamrock-shaped cake in green frosting for dessert. That day was important to us and all whose ancestors traveled from Ireland to the United States. As the generations slip past us, so does a certain awe and wonder about the people who decided to get on a boat, cross and ocean, and begin a new life in another country. 

The Irish Blessing covered the walls of my home, my grandparent's home, aunts and uncles, and other relatives. Knowledge and pride of who we were and where we came from were rooted in all of us. The words to the Irish Blessing are like the scriptures above: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” The Words in Scripture and in the Irish Blessing encourage us to remember who we are. 

Those paper shamrocks float to the top of my mind often, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day. The people we are is important to God—not just the ones we grow up to be, but all along the way. In my loneliness, as I sat without furniture or friends in my new room, I somehow felt God encouraging me through the words of my classmates, and I took all the things they said about me into a new school and made new friends. St. Patrick’s Day reminds me God sees me. I hope we all take a moment to remember our ancestors, our history, and our journey thus far with God, remembering every layer of our story has been written purposefully by a God who loves us more than we can comprehend.

Let’s pray:

Thank You for the way You layer our lives with rich history and ancestry. This St. Patrick’s Day, let even those who are not Irish or who may not know the roots of their relatives celebrate the unique person You have created them to be. Thank You for the way You layer stories into our lives and place people so purposefully to help us learn about ourselves. God, more than just our ancestry, we pray, as the people in our lives get to know who we are, they see You. God, let us shine Your light on the people in our lives, helping them to know who You are, Author of everyone’s ancestry! God, the countries and ethnicities that cover our world are fascinating and wonderful- we have endless things to learn about each other on this earth. Help us to see past stigmas, labels, and differences to learn with wonder how You have created each of us. 

God, we pray these words over our families, nationalities, traditions, and countries in this world: 

May You bless and protect us. May you smile at us and be gracious to us. May You show Your favor and give us Your peace. Father, teach us how to learn about each other. Teach us to appreciate the different pigments in our skin, the languages we speak, and wonderful notions about our cultures, which add color and flavor to the world! Father, we exist on this earth to bring glory to Your Name. Help us to shine in our own individual purpose in a way that attracts people to You. Father, we want to live with our arms open to others. So often, fear gets in the way. God, I want to remember how fun it was to get to know my elementary classmates and their family traditions …I especially never want to forget all the amazing food I may have never known about if not for friends sharing their lives with me. God, as we grow up in life, let us remember how fun it is to learn about each other and find ways to love each other through differences and misunderstandings. Bring us together, God, as only You can. We are more connected than ever before, God, yet it feels more like friction in a static-ridden cable line sometimes. Help us to celebrate each other, God. We want our openness to others to ultimately lead them straight to You. Bless our lives with the colors of Your creation …with the wisdom and compassion to love the world You created and the people You have placed in it, not one loved less by You than another. Why should we? 

In Jesus’ Name, we pray for a safe, celebratory, and memory-laden St. Patrick’s Day. Amen. 

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Kateryna Kovarzh

Meg BucherMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ at megbucher.comShe is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion." Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Web Network since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team at Salem Web Network. Meg loves being involved in her community and local church, leads Bible study, and serves as a youth leader for teen girls.

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