This week, in the year AD 461, Patrick of Ireland passed away. Ever since the early seventeenth century, churches have designated March 17 as St. Patrick’s Day. Prohibitions on feasting during the season of Lent were traditionally lifted on this day, and green had been associated with Ireland at least as early as the seventeenth century. The result has been a tradition of kisses and pinches, partying and wearing emerald hues on March 17.Continue reading.
The Magnificent Moravian Failures Who Weren’t Failures at All
In the ninth century A.D.—four hundred years or so after the fall of the Western Empire—a prince in the land of Moravia asked the emperor of the Eastern Empire to send missionaries to his people. The prince’s motives were primarily political. He needed the support of the Eastern Roman Empire, so he asked the Eastern emperor for missionaries. Yet God worked through two Eastern missionaries named Cyril and Methodius to prepare people’s hearts and to preserve God’s Word in ways that produced fruit far beyond the borders of Moravia.
Cyril of Moravia died on February 14, 869, an utter failure as far as anyone at the time could see. Today, the mission of Cyril and his brother Methodius is still celebrated on February 14—though most people are, unfortunately, focused on a more obscure (and mostly legendary) saint by the name of “Valentine.”
Perhaps cards and candies given to your spouse to celebrate “Saints Cyril and Methodius Day” don’t have quite the same ring as the ones with red frilly hearts, but Cyril and Methodius have far stronger historical foundations to support their significance than Valentine has ever had. So, go ahead, be unique, celebrate missions, and make a St. Cyril’s card to give your sweetheart today.
Watch this video to learn more about Cyril and Methodius. Reflect on a few failures from your own life. Are there places where it seems like your best efforts were wasted? Looking back on these failures, has God perhaps redeemed some of them in such a way that you now see your efforts weren’t wasted at all? How might God in the future use other apparent “wasted efforts” in ways that you can’t quite see right now?
Is Christianity headed south?
Year after year, Western culture continues to grow increasingly secularized. Secularization is—in the words of Baptist theologian R. Albert Mohler—
the process by which a society becomes more and more distant from its Christian roots. Though the formal sociological theory is more complicated than that, the essence of secularization is the fact that the culture no longer depends upon Christian symbols, morals, principles, or practices.
Even as the United States and Europe grow more secular, most of the world—particularly in the Southern Hemisphere—remains resolutely unsecular, and the church’s greatest growth is happening south of Equator. Take a look at this video to understand what this means for the future of the Christianity.
30 Days through Church History: Day 28