“Christians who want to be faithfully present in contemporary society do well to cultivate ancient friendships.” – James K.A. Smith
Throughout the year the church calendar provides us with the opportunity to celebrate and get to know “ancient friends,” those who have walked the way of Jesus—the way of the cross—before us. Today, March 17, we celebrate and give thanks to God for the life of St. Patrick. Patrick, a fifth-century Christian, was famously willing to return to those who had captured and enslaved him for the sake of the Gospel, leading to the establishment of Gospel communities throughout Ireland. As we look to be a community following Jesus in the way of the cross and seeking to serve our city, Patrick is a tremendous example for us. Beyond the example of his life, the prayer in Patrick’s name known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” has been a profound blessing to Christians throughout centuries.
Patrick’s example seems especially fitting in this season as we look to proclaim and embody the Gospel through service to our city. In the coming weeks we have the opportunity to do this in two ways in particular. First, as was mentioned last week, beginning on April 3 we will be running the Alpha course. Alpha is a tremendous way to invite others to consider and grow in the Christian faith through hospitality and honest discussion. Please join us in prayer for the Alpha course, that others might be encouraged to consider the Gospel of Jesus Christ and would meet him through it. More information is below and will be discussed in the coming weeks. Second, we’ve had the privilege of being connected with a family of Syrian refugees here in Austin. You can find out more information about them here. In addition to some support in basic and practical areas we are providing as a church, you can designate giving in the offering this week: simply write “Refugees” on the memo line of the check. Please also join us in prayer for this family.