Tradition has it that the Celtic cross was developed by St. Patrick as an evangelizing tool. If there is any symbol for Christianity with both a historic and present concern for our environment, the Celtic Cross seems to be it.
Look closely at the image of the Celtic cross. Do you see how the sun is cast behind it? This is not an image of the sun with a cross inside. This is the cross, standing at the center of creation.
Celtic Christianity did not try to beat the paganism out of the Irish but rather attempted to place the things they valued in a new light. The created world, so important to the Celts before they encountered Jesus, continued to be significant. But what transformed their worldview was not simply affirming the created order but recognizing that the cross of Jesus has redeemed and brought new life to all of creation.
This message is excerpted from “Calla lilies and crosses” by Dave Daubert in the March 2019 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Patrick, bishop, missionary to Ireland, who died in 461.