Saturday, March 17, 2012
‘Tis said that on Saint Patrick’s Day we are all Irish. I count myself as part Irish throughout the year, thanks to Alexander Kelly.
Alexander was born in Armagh, Ireland in 1755, I don’t know if that relates to the city, or just to the county. Would love to visit there and research! By July 9, 1776, when he enlisted in Washington’s army, he was living in Virginia. He was there again in 1778 when he married Nancy Robinson. They are my fourth great-grandparents. He’s one of the few immigrant ancestors I’ve been able to locate.
Armagh is tied to Saint Patrick through the Bell of the Testament, taken from Saint Patrick’s grave in 552 and given to “Ard Macha,” Armagh’s original name. It is now in the National Museum, Dublin. Both the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals in Armagh are called Saint Patrick’s, but my Alexander attended neither – he was a Protestant.
Patrick’s story reminds me some of Paul’s – hearing the call from another land to spread the gospel. That gospel is the same today as it was when Paul preached it in Athens or Patrick in Armagh.
It spoke to the hearts of people then, but many have forgotten Paul’s words to the Ephesians:
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:5-6 KJV)
Let’s skip down a few verses and look at the goal Christians share:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:13-15 KJV)
And that bottom line truth is what Jesus gave Nicodemus:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
We can’t be accepting this without accepting verses 15 and 18. That’s why my Readers should be looking past this blog, pulling on their Bibles (or using one online) and reading for themselves if what I copy is lacking, added to, or is speaking the truth in love.