Crisis Devotions 2 – St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2020 10:00 am

Personal and Family Devotions
March 17, 2020

Readings Today: Romans 8:31-39; John 16:32-33; Psalm 91

A Joyous St. Patrick’s Day to All!

There’s a short version of this great prayer, usually confined to the last several lines, beginning with ‘Christ with me, Christ before me…’. Since my middle name is Patrick, and since I was supposed to be in Ireland today, I’m including the entire prayer for your devotions today. As you pray through this magnificent supplication and confession, you will discover in fresh ways what we noted yesterday in Romans 8 – God sends his Spirit and strength to us in our weakness and suffering. We serve him, not in our own power, but in the grace he abundantly supplies.

In the words of St Patrick’s Breastplate, we can’t help but be struck by how affirming of creation this prayer is. God made the world good and we enter into it faithfully and fearlessly because he is with us in it and every aspect of that creation speaks to us of his infinite beauty.

It’s also an incredibly comprehensive prayer and confession. It’s long, but in this way, it touches all of life just as it touches all of creation.

Among its many facets, you’ll lastly note how deeply theological and specifically Trinitarian is this prayer. In this petition, we return to our baptism in which God’s Triune Name was placed upon us and it is in that Almighty Name that we enter our mission today. We are Christ’s, from first to last and in life or in death.

Where is our mission today? Your mission may be at home caring for children or tilling a garden; it may be in an ER or surgery center caring for the sick; it may be helping a neighbor with a task at their house they cannot do alone; it may be in leading a Bible study for college students who find themselves back home far sooner than they anticipated. Whatever form our mission takes today, let us rise in the power of the Trinity and with thankful joy serve the Savior.

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.
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 the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.
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 shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
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.

A Hymn for today: Be Thou My Vision

Lyrics:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art

High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

AND, for your listening pleasure, from the Choir at The Cathedral of St Patrick in Dublin, a version of ‘The Breastplate’:

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