St Patrick on 03.20.11

St Patrick

It’s not easy being misunderstood.  The more I read about St. Patrick, the more I’m convinced he is one of the more misunderstood figures throughout history.  A day that was set to commemorate a life that was utterly dedicated to following God no matter what the cost is often boiled down to a secular celebration of Irish culture.  This past weekend we wanted to reclaim the purpose of St. Patrick’s Day…I might even go so far as to say we wanted to redeem what has become of St. Patrick’s Day!

In the centuries that followed the life of St. Patrick, a very vibrant Celtic faith emerged.  At the heart of the Celtic faith is the idea that God is not somewhere out there hiding from us.  We don’t need to go out in search of a mysterious elusive God.  The heart of the Celtic faith is the idea that God is among us and we are called to open our eyes to see the God in our midst and awaken our hearts to follow a God who already desires to lead us.  Below is the prayer that I read during the service.  This is a shortened version of what is known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  St. Patrick faced adversity and opposition during his years in Ireland and it was this prayer that served as his support.  I invite you to use this prayer as your morning ritual this week.  Pray this prayer and be reminded that as you arise each and every day, Christ is with you.

Celtic Prayer

I Arise
(St. Patrick’s Breastplate)

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in multitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness, Of the Creator of Creation.


The next time you’re walking around and you see a shamrock, let it be a reminder of our Triune God and be thankful that you are loved not by a “far off god” but by a God who is before you, behind you, and all around you.

Peace,

Matt

Posted by Aaron Niequist on 03.24.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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