St. Patrick and the Presence of God

So, today is St. Patrick’s Day.  When I was a child that meant one thing, “Don’t forget to wear green, or you will be pinched.”  

Perhaps, St. Patrick can speak to us in a more meaningful way this day.  I believe he can! If you want to know a little more about the history of St. Patrick, I encourage you to go to the link below and watch this two and a half minute video as a family.  The story of St. Patrick is quite inspiring.

Click here to watch: Who Was St. Patrick – Christian History Made Easy 

What I would like for us to focus on today is an ancient prayer commonly known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  Why breastplate?  Perhaps you are familiar with the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6:10-18.  As you read this prayer, you will recognize the value these words have in preparing and protecting your heart from whatever challenges you face today.

When Patrick first came to Ireland, he found a pagan people with great reverence for creation.  In fact, they worshipped creation rather than its creator.  Patrick moved these Irish Celts from worshiping nature to worshiping the God whose presence they perceived in the beauty  they experienced.  One of the hallmarks of “Celtic Spirituality” is sensing God in nature and a heightened awareness of Christ’s presence every second of every day.

Perhaps you find yourself isolated today.  Many of us do.  With the Corona Virus Pandemic we are isolating ourselves out of love for our neighbor.  This is the right thing for us to do at the moment, but it does make us lonely.  As we adjust to this new and temporary circumstance, let us be reminded that we are never alone.

CLICK HERE to open an PDF version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  (This is actually just the final stanzas.  You can Google search for the full version.)  Here is my challenge to you in these tumultuous times.  Print out this prayer, or save it to your phone or computer.  Make this one of your daily prayers for the next two weeks.  I encourage you to say the words audibly, because it will help you focus, and the words will sink deeper into your soul.

Let me share a modern adaptation of this prayer with you.  One of our congregation’s favorite songs these days is “Christ Be All Around Me.”  

CLICK HERE to hear Zoe Group’s version of this contemporary worship song.

Finally, the two slides below are part of a song we have been singing in Focus (K-2nd Children’s Worship) for several years.  Most Collegeside kids should know the tune and the motions.  If you need help, let me know and we can post a video of some children singing it.

 

As we continue through this period of social distancing, watch for more posts.  Our world faces unprecedented challenges, however, along with this new challenge comes new opportunities. Let’s make time with our families to grow together in Christ as many of the activities that typically consume our evenings have been placed on hold.

Do not forget, Christ is with us!  We can walk through any circumstance…

…In Him,

Wes
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