Today’s scripture, the first eight verses of the 63rd Psalm, beautifully reflect David’s ability to find refuge and confidence in God even when he was in the wilderness of Judah, fleeing from those who sought his life.
Last May a group of Woodlanders under Randy Edwards’ direction trekked the circumference of Ireland, often finding ourselves in the footsteps of Patrick, the country’s patron saint… from the Dublin cathedral bearing his name, built on the legendary site of his baptizing of local converts, to the haunting Rock of Cashel, historic seat of ancient kings. The “Rock,” a 200-foot-high outcrop of limestone crowned by the stone ruins of a Gothic cathedral, is built on the site of Patrick’s baptism of King Aengus in about A.D. 450. One of Patrick’s prayers, often called “Patrick’s Breastplate,” said to have been written to invoke God’s strength as he prepared to personally challenge and convert King Loegaire, the high king of Ireland, is reminiscent of David’s psalm in time of need. Two eloquent portions of the prayer:
I bind to myself today God’s Power to guide me, God’s Might
to uphold me, God’s Wisdom to teach me, God’s Eye to watch
over me, God’s Ear to hear me, God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me, God’s Way to lie before me, God’s
Shield to shelter me, God’s Host to secure me…
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ
before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort
and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in
quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ
in mouth of friend and stranger.