March 17th, 2023 | Rev. Dr. Mark Charles
Our focus words for 2023 are “prayer” and “connection.” When I shared them with our leaders and congregation in January, I invited everyone in the grace-filled family at Memorial to seek to deepen both their prayer lives and their connections with one another in 2023. One way we have been at work to help with that has been our Sunday morning worship services in which we have spent time thinking through the Wesley Covenant Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. Both prayers have been handed down to us by our forebears, and for many people they are prayers that hold a great depth of meaning and significance.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day – a day of celebration for the Irish diaspora (and those who claim connection to it) the world over. Although we do not know much for sure about Patrick of Ireland, there is a common understanding that he was the first (or one of the first) to share the gospel on the island of Ireland. Another great prayer of the Christian tradition is St’ Patrick’s Breastplate prayer – a prayer he is believed to have written and prayed as he sought God’s providence and protection as he shared his Christian faith. I want to share some portions of this prayer with you today and I hope you will take time to sit with it and make it part of your own devotional moment:
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 heaven: light of sun, brilliance of moon, splendor of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, 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 way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me: against snares of demons, against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature, against 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 in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man 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. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May your salvation, Oh Lord, be ever with us.”
See you Sunday!