Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Shamrock

With names such as Maloney, Newlin, Paggott, Cowan and Donaldson in my family tree, having an Irish heritage is a serious thing to me.  

Although my father's father was from Greece, my  father's maternal grandfather came here from Ireland.  His  grandmother's family also boasted Irish roots, as well did some from my mother's family. 

We are nearing the time of year when every one wants to be Irish and this will reach a fever pitch on March 17th as the world celebrates Saint Patrick's Day.

The Shamrock in the picture was sent to me from my cousin Rebekah who will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year by getting married. The shamrock is the quintessential icon of Ireland, but many don't know why.  I'll explain it to you and it will explain why I am wearing this very shamrock pin as I type this.

When Patrick wanted to share the concept of the Trinity with the Irish, he used the shamrock.

Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge his hearers, "Is it one leaf or three?" 
"It is both one leaf and three," was their reply. 
 "And so it is with God," he would conclude. 

Oxalis Shamrocks, Two KindsImage by cobalt123 via FlickrThis is the same thought process I used to share with my three-year-old granddaughter this weekend.  Using clover from our yard, I  explained to her that God was one God, but He God the Father and Jesus, God the Son and also God the Spirit.  But He was still one God.  I also pointed out to her that the petals each looked like little hearts, which reminded us that no matter what, God always loves us and that if we trust and believe in Him, He will come into our hearts to stay forever. 

I showed her the little ring of white toward the center of the clover and explained that a circle has no starting point or ending point and God had no beginning point and has no ending point.

So as March 17th approaches and shamrocks are posted all over in celebration, remember why they are so famous in Ireland and think of these words from  "Patrick's Confession":

"For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught;and His son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the Spirit with the Father,indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by Him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave Him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to His imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to His deeds. And He poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name."
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