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Weekly Reflection

(11-06-2000)

Hello Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Please read Psalm 139 in your Bible.

Last spring I can remember having trouble sleeping one night. There was a horrible storm with driving rain, howling winds, lightning and thunder. The storm lasted for an hour or so, and by morning the skies were clear. After going through the normal morning routine of getting the kids and myself ready to go, we went out to the car. As I went to open the driver's door, I noticed a young, dead bird on the driveway. There were feathers also stuck to the car window. Sometime during that storm the young bird had left or was knocked from its protective perch. The storm had its way with the helpless creature and it was slammed into the window of my car killing it instantly. The storm had simply kept me awake. I had given no thought to the possibility that a life would be lost.

Last weekend a student died in Oakland. The storms of life proved too much for him. He was knocked from the safety of friends, family and community. The rain of depression, the winds of self-doubt, and the thunder of hostile voices overwhelmed him. This is simply too sad for words.

Psalm 139 assures you that despite the tumultuous storms in your life God is with you. No matter if you reach the highest heights or the depths of Hell, God is there. The Psalm proclaims that God has made you, knows you better than you know yourself, and wonderfully loves you. You are God's wonderful, special child.

Life can be marred by depression and despair. It has always been that way since the beginning of time. You are not alone. The following is a prayer attributed to St. Patrick. It was once believed that by praying this prayer, the one praying would be protected as if by magic. But this prayer is not magic at all. There is no magic where God is concerned. This prayer is faith, promise, and pronouncement. Pray this prayer. Pray it out loud to hear the power of the words. (Your roommate won't think you're carzy.) Shout it if need be. Pray with a friend. Pray that through these words and the words of the Psalmist you will know that you are not alone: God in Christ is with you.

St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the 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 Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance 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 save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel 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 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.

Pray this out loud and know that God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is with you this day and all days.

Christís Peace,
Pastor Scott
412-682-6886

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