Today is March 14 and it is the fourth Sunday of Lent. But is also just three days away from St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick is a very famous Irish saint. I bet you have heard of him. Today I want to tell you about another Irish saint who should be famous. Her name is Brigid.
Saint Brigid lived 1500 years ago! Can you even count to 1500? We live in the year 2021. She lived in the year 523.
She lived in Ireland at a time when the Irish people had just learned about Jesus, how he fed the hungry, cared about the poor, and healed the sick.
Brigid decided to follow Jesus.
She was the daughter of a king, a very rich king but she wanted to help the poor as Jesus did, so one day she gave away her father’s silver sword to a passing beggar. Her father was so angry, he took her to court. But the judge said that she was following God’s law, and that we should all be generous and try to do the same.
One day, Brigid met a stranger as she was out walking, and they began to talk. And she wanted to tell the stranger about Jesus, but her words weren’t working. So, she bent down and picked up some straw and wove it into a cross – to help her new friend remember that we know our one God is known in three ways. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And that the Holy Three weave into our lives, every day and in every way. Whether we are milking the cows or brushing our teeth or setting the table for dinner.
Then Brigid started a community. It was called Kildare, the Church of the Oak. She gathered lots of other followers of Jesus, so they could live together and help their neighbors. She always kept a fire burning there to remind them of the Holy Spirit (and also because Ireland is cold!)
And because Brigid was such a good teacher and leader of Jesus’ people, she became a bishop. (We have bishops too! Saint Nicholas was a bishop! Susan Goff is the Bishop of Virginia.)
And she is always pictured carrying a bishop’s staff, like a shepherd’s because like Jesus, she led her people gently like a flock of sheep. Always trying to keep them in the fold. And gently reaching out to bring them back when they wandered off or got lost.
And Brigid was just an ordinary person in an ordinary time and in an ordinary place who listened to God’s words so that she might share God’s love and make this world a better place.
And we are also just ordinary people in an ordinary time and in an ordinary place who can also share Jesus and make the world a better place.
Maybe you could weave a Brigid’s cross out of pipe cleaners or straws or paper to remind us all and that we can follow Jesus too!
Click here for some simple instructions how to make one!
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog