Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who Was St. Patrick?

Commemoration of Patrick, Missionary to Ireland
Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 17, 2010

The Lord be with you

Patrick is one of the best-known of the missionary saints. Born to a Christian family in Britain around the year 389 AD he was captured as a teenager by raiders, taken to Ireland, and forced to serve as a herdsman. After six years, he escaped and found his way to a monastery community in France. Ordained a bishop, it is believed that Patrick made his way back to Ireland in the summer of 433, and there spent the rest of his long life spreading the Gospel and organizing Christian communities. He strongly defended the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in a time when it was not popular to do so. His literary legacy includes his autobiography, Confession, and several prayers and hymns still used in the Church today. At least one tradition states that Patrick died in Ireland on March 17, around the year 466 AD.

Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee has translate Patrick’s Early Morning Hymn (Patrick wrote in Irish Lorica) and set it to the music used for the U. S. Navy Hymn (88 88 88). The words follow. If you go to his site you can also hear the music.

Today I rise, and now commune
with my Creator God Triune.
He's One, by grace through faith I know –
Jehovah God, from long ago!
He's also Elohim. Thus Three
from, and until, eternity!

Today I rise, and with my eyes
I see how John did Christ baptize –
His cross and grave I clearly see.
I know He went there, all for me.
Because He rose up from His tomb,
my sin no longer means my doom!

Today I rise, while angels serve
I'll pray with every ounce of nerve.
I'll heed God's heralds; read His Word;
then I will very gladly gird
His Spirit's sword for works of love.
His saints must be: pure as a dove.

Today I'll rise before the sun
its daily rising has begun –
before the rushings of the wind,
or thunderbolts have loudly dinned.
For God's deep sea is in His hand,
and rock-firm is His promised land.

Today I rise. God's strength me guides;
His might all day with me abides.
His wisdom leads; His eye shall guard;
His ear shall hear; His Word bombard
my foes. His gentle hands protect
and keep me on His road correct.

God's angels guard me 'gainst all snares;
against all vicious trials and scares;
against all of my carnal lusts;
against all nature's stormy gusts;
against all harm, both far and near.
Against all foes, I have no fear.

Christ shelters from each harmful wound
no matter what my foes impugned.
'Gainst burns and drownings, 'gainst all falls.
Against all poisons, and all brawls
Christ guards me with His mighty sword.
So I'll yet get His good reward.

My Christ is with me, and before,
behind, beneath, above -- and more.
Christ's on my left, Christ's on my right –
there when I sit, and when I fight.
Whatever I may take to hand,
Christ's there -- when I'm asleep, or stand.

Christ's where I rise, when every day
I read His Word and to Him pray.
When I'm discussed, He's in the heart –
He's in the mouth, right from the start.
He's in the eye of all who see
and hear the actions done by me.

Today I rise, in God's strong Name,
the great Jehovah to proclaim.
The Lord is always One and Three –
my God, for all eternity!
Yes, God is always One and Three –
my Lord, for all eternity!

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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