Okay, so 2020 may see the quietest public St Paddy’s Day celebrations because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis, but this is no excuse to ignore our Patron Saint’s Christian vision for Ireland - that Ireland can be won for Christ.
But that vision will not be achieved in the churches across the island; it will be won in council chambers, in Leinster House and in the Stormont Chamber.
Christians face a tough political battle if they are to see the true Biblical beliefs of St Patrick have any influence in the Ireland of 2020.
So the key issue is - Wanted: A new legion of St Patrick followers who can rid Ireland of the python politicians who are crushing the heart out of our Emerald Isle!
Where do we find such new saints? Where do we discover people prepared to take a public stand for Biblical Truth? Simple solution, the ordinary people of Ireland become that communal saint!
Heaven knows, given the mess the bankers and politicians have made of this wonderful island, we would need the patience of a saint not to start a violent revolution.
Instead, we need a religious revolution, although critics of Christianity will say Ireland has suffered enough from religion. While many Christians will commemorate the achievements of St Patrick with private prayers, they will also be remembering the persecuted Church across the globe.
But in an increasingly secular Ireland, we should also remember those victims who have been persecuted by the Church.
So everyone Irish must take my St Paddy’s Day Pledge – take politics away from our Patron Saint and put the Bible back into Ireland.
The sad reality is that St Patrick’s Day has become politicised and polarised by republicans, who have rebranded him across the globe as a nationalist, anti-British saint.
This has prompted knee-jerk reactions from Unionists as they try to introduce Orange marches to combat the legions of Irish tricolours on display at parades across the island.
One effect of the coronavirus crisis will be a lack of flags on the streets as parades are called off. Hopefully, this ‘curfew’ will also apply to the notorious Belfast Holy Lands drinking binges which young people get blamed for each year.
The advance of the Godless, secular and pluralist society has also seen a dilution of the real Christian meaning of tomorrow.
St Patrick brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, not British imperialism or militant republicanism, so get with the programme, Ireland!
Our Patron Saint is credited with the following wisdom: “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”
The true meaning of St Patrick’s Christian crusade to Ireland has been pulled apart by centuries of sectarian infighting between the religious denominations and the scandals which have rocked the Christian Church on the island like an Old Testament Biblical plague.
The credibility of the Irish Catholic Church has been rocked to the core with all the clerical sexual and physical abuse scandals.
If Jesus and Patrick came back tomorrow, on reading many of the abuse inquiry findings, they would jointly issue the famous Christian maxim – Get thee behind me, satan!
The Protestant community is not far behind as it is split into so many denominations and cliques within churches that it is almost impossible to determine who actually speaks for the so-called Reformed Faith.
Many Protestant churches are locked in wars of words over issues such as forms of worship, translations of the Bible to read, women wearing hats, and men with loud ties with their suits!
Wednesday is my 31st wedding anniversary. Yet I was refused membership of the church I was married in because my wife chooses not to wear a hat to Sunday worship!
So with pervert priests preying on children on one hand, and nutball militant fundamentalists screaming about who is the Anti Christ on the other, is it any wonder Ireland has turned its back on the Biblical principles of Patrick?
The LGBT community, as a minority section of society numerically, has shouted about its beliefs to such an extent that Pride marches are now an annual part of many town and city calendars.
While thousands had wished to be on parade tomorrow to commemorate Patrick as a saint, I wonder how many people would march if there was a Christian Pride event instead? Is St Patrick’s Day becoming like Christmas Day or Easter Sunday – just another commercial event without the true meaning?
If Patrick did come back to look at modern Ireland, he’d probably cry at the spiritual state of the island, and get back on his boat and bog off back to Britain.
But that would be a cry of defeat. Knowing the real spirit of St Patrick, he would stay in Ireland and rid the nation of all the snakes.
What Ireland needs is a set of new spiritual Christian champions to campaign for the Biblical standards which Patrick instilled into the island.
How many young people have been put off joining the priesthood and other holy orders for fear of being branded a paedophile or have their sexual preference questioned?
How many people don’t want to admit they have a strong Christian faith for fear of being branded a Bible-basher or tub-thumper?
Have the antics of Hell fire preachers or judgemental church gossips spoiled it for a generation of new evangelists?
Is a time really coming in Ireland where being a follower of the beliefs of St Patrick will get you banned from a job or refused entrance to a restaurant or school?
As we honour Patrick and consider his legacy tomorrow, as Irish people, let’s take the pledge to continue his spiritual legacy by putting the Bible back into Ireland.