The Fearlessness of St. Patrick
Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to the Kingdom Perspective.
Life is full of fears and anxieties. What should we do with them?
We should take our cues from the brave Christians that have gone before us.
Consider St. Patrick. He was not always St. Patrick, nor was he even Irish. He was an ordinary youth from Romanized Britain. However, at age 16 he was kidnapped by the Irish. At the time the Irish were notorious pagan tribal warriors, famous for stringing around their belts the skulls of their conquered foes.
After six years of slavery, Patrick finally escaped. But then God gave him a vision that he should return to the land of his captors, not in order to bring them justice, but rather to bring them Jesus. He did. And the rest, as they say, is history.
He bravely went back and faced his captors, not with fear but with faith.
By the sovereign grace of God, the Irish became Christians at an astounding rate. However, this did not happen without significant danger and threats to Patrick’s life.
And where did he turn with his fears? To the promise of Christ’s presence. The spirit of his faith-filled courage is preserved in a famous prayer, “The Shield of St. Patrick”. Here’s a bit of it:
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.
Indeed, like Patrick of old, how can we today live in faith and not in fear? The key is calling on the presence of Christ with us, moment by moment.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”
~ Psalm 91:1-6 (ESV)