Sabbath Rest: The Above All Commandment

Like many people, I get easily wearied by many of the Sabbath debates. What can you do? What can’t you do?  While not unimportant, these questions miss the point.

Jesus told us:

“Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2.27)

In other words, Sabbath is a gift made or established by God for us. True, it is for God’s glory, and is therefore to be kept holy. (Exodus 20.8) But we must remember that our greatest good is wrapped up in God’s glory.  And as John Piper reminds us: “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.”

God gave us the gift of the Sabbath as a means that we might be satisfied in him and thereby glorify him.

Sadly, the debate seems to revolve around polarized positions, with contemporary Pharisees on the one side and supposed free spirited antinomians on the other.  The Pharisee says: “Do”, or mostly “Don’t Do”.  The antinomian (which means “against Law”) holds to the notion that he can do as he pleases, and has no obligation.  The one squeezes the life out of the gift. The other, perhaps unwittingly, responds to God’s gift by saying: “No Thanks”.

In an article from Christianity Today magazine, Kevin Emmert winsomely makes a case for Sabbath observation.  Emmert rightly describes it as a spiritual discipline of resting.  And he acknowledges that this notion somehow seems antithetical to both our spiritual growth and God’s glory:

It is difficult, and ironic, to imagine rest as the most transformative element in the Christian life. For evangelicals especially, transformation and sanctification are closely linked to activity. We appropriately begin with the idea that our works do not merit justification (being declared righteous by God). We can do nothing to earn our salvation. But most of us imagine we must play an active role in our sanctification, the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ. Sanctification, we assume, involves work and effort on our part.

This is good news to evangelical ears. We like activities. We conduct Bible studies, participate in small groups, and attend prayer meetings. We engage in worship services and outreach. We like inspirational books that teach us how to become better Christians. We have a sense of duty that compels us to evangelize and demonstrate Christ’s love to those around us. Indeed, these activities are good and find their foundation in biblical teachings.

And this is precisely why we find it so difficult to imagine rest as the most transformative feature of the Christian life.

Yet Emmert convincingly contends that this discipline, perhaps more than any other, and certainly no less than any other, provides the greatest spiritual benefits:

Why is the Sabbath so important? After all, it’s a command to do nothing; it requires no activity or effort. And that may be precisely the point.

This “above all” command encourages us to trust in God in a way that no other activity can. So much more could be accomplished by adding another day of labor, but the Sabbath requires us to trust that God will provide for all our needs and that he will continue to manage the world without our help. The Sabbath is a practical reminder that we are completely dependent on God.

It is when we realize our complete dependence upon God that we experience how great a thing it is to have the right to call him “Father”.

Check out Emmert’s short article: The Above All Commandment

More Tips for Taking Criticism

In a post last week I shared 5 Suggestions for Receiving Criticism. The bulk of that piece was taken from a post by Mark Altrogge at The Blazing Center titled How to Receive Criticism Like a Champ.

Since criticism is inevitable for all of us, I felt Altrogge’s insights were helpful.  As he reminds us:

Like I said last week, I don’t love being corrected.  But Jesus can help us grow.

Now, in a second round, Altrogge expands his previous points. Here are a handful of additional helps:

  • Don’t be quick to defend yourself.

“Hey I thwacked Junior on the head with my iPad because he had a bad attitude!”  Don’t make excuses: “Well, I didn’t actually lie.  It was theater.  You know, drama.  I just exaggerated a little bit for effect.”  Sometimes it’s fine to offer reasons for our actions, but defensiveness usually comes from pride.

  • Don’t write someone off because they fail to deliver criticism perfectly.

“Hey!  You corrected me harshly!  Your stinking attitude invalidates all you said.”  Even if they sin, make your primary focus your failure, not theirs.  You can talk about their sin some other time.

  • Ask clarifying questions.

Don’t require them to produce video footage, finger prints, and DNA evidence before you accept what they say, but if they have some examples that could help you see more clearly, welcome them.

  • Watch your facial expression and body language.

I know, your face feels like it’s going to crack into a thousand pieces.  Don’t sit there with your arms crossed and an “I dare you to say something negative” scowl on your face.  Try not to start breathing heavily when someone is correcting you, like a snorting bull.  Remember, you’re trying to make it easy for them.

  • If you see what they’re saying, acknowledge it.

James says, “Confess your sins to one another.”  Say, “You’re right, honey.  I should not have thwacked Junior on the head with my iPad.  I was angry and that was sin.  Junior, would you please forgive Daddy for his anger and for thwacking you on the head?  I won’t thwack you any more.  And anyway, my iPad’s broken now.”

  • If you can’t see what someone is saying, don’t immediately write it off.

You could say, “I’m having a hard time seeing what you’re saying right now, but I certainly could be wrong.  I know I have blind spots.”  Another thing you can do is ask others if they have observed the same thing.  Good chance if one person has seen a weakness or fault of yours, others have too (thanks Julian Freeman for this addition!).

  • Ask them to please point it out again if you do it again.

…Because most likely you will.

Thanks, Mark. These are helpful.

While I can paste his points, I can’t do justice to the wisdom and humor found at The Blazing Center. I recommend clicking the link and checking out the original posts – and bookmarking the page.

Alrogge’s Bottom line:

We all need correction, input, reproof, adjustment, suggestions and help.  A wise man or woman grows wiser by receiving these from others.

OK, now go out there and get criticized!

Our Great Shepherd

“The Lord’s my shepherd – I shall not be in want.”

(Psalm 23.1)

I am completely satisfied with his management of my life.  Why? Because He is the sheepman to whom no trouble is too great as He cares for His flock.  He is the rancher who is outstanding because of His fondness for sheep – Who loves them for their own sake as well as his personal pleasure in them.  He will, if necessary, be on the job twenty-four hours a day to see that they are properly provided for in every detail.  Above all, He is very jealous of His name and high reputation as ‘The Good Shepherd’.

~ Phillip Keller, from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

Lost Art of Discipleship

Sometimes we need to face up to difficult questions. Michael Horton, in his book The Gospel Commission, asks some really tough ones that every church, every church leader, every church member needs to ask themselves:

Instead of reaching the lost, are we losing the reached? Or are those reared in our own churches being truly reached in the first place? Do they know what they believe and why they believe it? Are we making disciples even of our own members – our own children – much less the Nations?

I honestly wonder if making disciples is even really the goal of many Christians or churches.  Some are apathetic and/or complacent. Some seem to think taking the time to instruct people in sound doctrine (what we must believe about God and Man) somehow gets in the way with mission.  Some are so contented in their own activity and busyness for the Lord that they sense no need to spend time with the Lord. And many seem to be satisfied with sheer increase in numbers.

Perhaps the task of making disciples seems daunting.  But Jesus gave good news to those who are willing to reclaim this priority:

  • All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. …And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.18, 20)
  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1.8)

He provides his authority, his power, and his presence to all who endeavor to make disciples.

Order of Sunday Fellow-Hip

A number of years ago I ran across this satirical outline for all-too-common worship planning.  It is a sad but almost realistic caricature of what takes place in many churches every Sunday.  See if you recognize any of these things.



Fellowshippers shall enter the sanctuary garrulously, centering their attention on each other, and gaily exchanging their news of the past week.

If there be an overhead projector, the acolyles shall light it.

The minister shall begin the Morning Fellowship by chanting the Greeting: “Good Morning.” Then shall not more than 50% and not less than 10% fellowshippers respond, chanting in the wise: “Good Morning.”

NOTE: If it be a hot day, the Minister shall at his discretion add: “Ya’ll don’t mind if I take off my jacket.”  He shall then drape such vestment over the pastoral chair, or stuff it in some other place he may deem convenient.

The Glad-handing of the Peace

Then the Minister shall say: “Why don’t we all shake hands with the person on our left and on our right and say ‘Good Morning’.”

NOTE: The glad-handing may be omitted, provided it be practiced any Sunday when there is at least one visitor present and, of course, on Mother’s Day and Missionary Sunday.

When the general hubbub has subsided, the Minister shall say: “You may be seated.”

THEN… If there be any visitors present, the Minister shall embarrass them by commanding: “Will all of our visitors please stand up and introduce themselves.”

The Old Hymn & Special Music

During the last stanza of the Old Hymn (which is not to have been composed before 1900 nor after 1950) the accompaniment tape shall be slipped into the sound system, or the organist shall warm up with a few lively runs up and down the keyboard.

THEN shall be sung the “Special” Music appointed for the day.

The Reading

Then shall be read an arbitrary Scripture passage of the Minister’s choosing, so long as it has no relation to the time of the Church Year/Liturgical Calendar.

Sharesicles, Prayersickles, and Praisicle of the Day

Here may be inserted a time for a bunch of individual fellowshippers to give their testimonies, and share what the Lord has just-really-done in their lives.

THEN, … if the fellowshippers be Charismatically inclined, shall follow:

The Cacophony

Here many loud prayers, in English or other Prayer Languages, shall be offered simultaneously.

Prayer for the State of  a Bunch of Individual Christians

And after these shall follow a L-O-N-G pastoral prayer, the people devoutly sitting. The Minister shall begin: “O Lord, we just-really-praise-you…” and continue with selected prayer requests, as many as he can recall from memory, for no less than 10 and no more than 20 minutes.

NOTE:  Under no circumstances shall the Minister risk offending anyone.  He shall avoid praying for actual spiritual growth among the members (- as if they need it. They are Christian’s after all.)  And Minister shall avoid such vain repetition as The Lord’s Prayer.

The Offertory Sentences

“Count you blessings, Name them one by one. Count your blessing, See what God has done.”

The Contemporary American Evangelical Creed

I believe in God who once was Almighty, but sovereignly chose not to be sovereign; and Jesus my personaLord-and-Savior, Who loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life; Who came into my life when I asked him to, and is now seated at the right ventricle of my belief in him; Who walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way, and tells me I am His own; Who shall come again with secrecy to Rapture us outta here; Whose Kingdom shall last One Thousand years (not a day more or a day less).

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, Who did some weird stuff at Pentecost, but doesn’t do much anymore, except speak secretly to the hearts of individual believers. And I believe in this local, independent, and powerless church, insofar as it is in line with my personal interpretation of the Bible and does stuff I like; in one Believer’s Baptism for public proof of my decision for Christ; and giving my personal testimony for soul winning.  And I look for the identity of the anti-Christ, and know for sure that the Last Days are now upon us. ~Ay-men!

Continue reading

John Piper is BAD

Michael Jackson asked:

“Who’s BADD?”

The answer, apparently: John Piper.

I don’t know if it is because John Piper staunchly believes in the doctrine of Total Depravity (as do I) – which recognizes that as a consequnce of the Fall all humnaity is infected by sin in every aspect of our personality – or if there is some other underlying motive, but someone has produced this clever video:

Just in case you are curious, Piper has seen the video and he thinks it’s funny.

Why Do We Read Prayers & Creeds?

Why do we read prayers and creeds in our worship services?

The answer is simple. It is because the WHOLE Church is called a priesthood.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2.9)

So, since ALL the people of God are priests, shouldn’t we all be actively involved in the priestly function – worship?  If we are all priests, we should all not only be present for and participating in worship, we should all be conducting worship.

In worship services, the worship leaders & musicians lead, but the people are actually performing the worship. The people are enabled to do this when they are given tools to read & respond.  These tools are not replacements of the Bible. On the contrary, many even most tools are excerpts from the Bible. These tools should be seen as to the liturgy of worship what the hymnal is to the musical aspect of worship. They are intended to equip the people for doing the work of the priesthood.

The recited prayers are also part of the training manual for worship. They are not the only kind of prayers we should use during a service. Usually there will also be “free” prayer during worship.  But the set prayers follow Biblical examples such as The Lord’s Prayer.  They are usually well-stated prayers that uniquely express the common needs of God’s people. They are sometimes called collects because they are a collection of the needs of Christians that are brought to God by those who pray.

Set prayers are prayers that have a unique history to them. The following prayer has a special story attached to it:

“O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; defend us thy humble servants in all assault of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

This prayer was written by a minister in the city of Rome sometime during the fourth century A.D. It was composed at a time when barbarians were about to conquer the city. On the night on which it was prayed, the barbarians mysteriously left and never came back. The Church has kept this prayer which God so profoundly honored.

While this prayer was offered at a particular time in history, if one considers what is expressed we will see the near universality of what is expressed.  We all, at one time or another, face assault from some enemy; we all, at times, have our freedom threatened.  So, while the origin of the prayer may have been in the fourth century, we can easily see the adaptability and the contemporary applicability it posesses.

The common objection, though to such “read prayers” is that they are not sincere. They are someone else’s words. They did not originate in our hearts or minds. They are therefore somehow inauthentic, or disingenuous.  But this is not necessarily the case.  People read vows at a wedding or even memorize what they want to say. Does this mean that they are insincere? Hardly. In fact, people very carefully choose their words when they are important and they really have to mean them. Remember, this is how people act at special occasions before special people.  And to assume that offering to God words that someone else wrote in inherently inauthentic, inappropriate, would effectively eliminate any singing at church. We sing songs with lyrics written by others.  Yet we understand that when we embrace the words written for us, when we personalize the sentiment, something very real, very personal often occurs through our singing in worship.  I don’t think I have ever heard anyone object to that.

Just imagine what worship would be like if we placed the same restraints on singing as some want to place on praying.  If everyone could only sing songs they had themselves written, or at least sing only  lyrics they had composed – composed spontaneously on the spot – we would have a cacophony, not harmony! It would be a horrible experience! Are songs we sing – musical prayer, or musical expressions of praise – supposed to be any less intimate than spoken prayers?  Yet we do not place such artificial restraints on our singing. (Thankfully!)

But how about the repetition? Doesn’t this lead to deadness? Again: No.  People usually benefit from repeating what they love. Favorite, oft-recited portions of scripture such as Psalm 23, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Beatitudes all serve to illustrate this. How about certain hymns, Christmas carols, or simple songs such as Jesus Loves Me? These are repeated by the same people over and over.  Does the repetition mean they are insincere or don’t mean what they say? Not at all. They are repeating what they love. More important, they are repeating what they mean.  In fact, repetition is sometimes more difficult for people when they don’t mean what they are saying.  And so it is true of every aspect of worship.

Finally, repetition has been called the “mother of learning.” Repetition is a way of learning basic elements of anything, including worship. Most Christians don’t know how to worship because they have been led to believe that it only comes naturally.  But tt doesn’t come naturally.  Perhaps it should, but it does not. At least not since the Fall, when sin entered into our world.  In fact, nothing in the Christian life come naturally.  It must be learned. (Why else would Jesus have to teach us to pray, as he does by the Lord’s Prayer?)  And since repetition is the most basic way of learning, the worship service involves repeating certain important parts, which leads to learning.

The Scandal of American Evangelicalism

I was not there, but I am now wishing I had been, at least for R.C. Sproul Jr.’s address.   The Layman Online reports that Sproul prophetically challenged those gathered for 2012 Ligonier National Conference “… about the true scandal of the evangelical mind.”

Developing his message from 1 Corinthians 1.18-31 Sproul briefly outlined the Christian faith, and emphasized the Unity of those within the faith.  He then contrasted the unity of Believers with the perspective of Christians “by those outside of the room – the Greek, the Gentile…” reminding his hearers that “the story [the Gospel] is a scandal. It is foolishness. It is a stumbling block.”

This is an important reminder.

As Sproul elaborated:  “Paul wasn’t just saying they don’t get it.  Paul says, ‘they don’t get you!’ They think you are foolish … They won’t take you seriously.” And those in the evangelical church perceive this distaste and displeasure.

So we see that the unbelievers around us don’t get us, and don’t appreciate the Gospel.  This should be no surprise. This is as God said it would be.  But here is where what Sproul said really begins to carry weight:

“What scandalizes me is that this truth scandalizes us … that we, who embrace this Gospel that is an offense to the world, are offended that they are offended by us!”

I think this is so true.  Despite the fact that we are told that we will be despised and rejected, we seem surprised.  We don’t like it.

“Evangelicals grouse and complain. They go on television to complain about how they are presented on television. We want to insist that Paul is wrong – and not just Paul, of course. This is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit here … The text says ‘this is how the world will see you.’”

The greater scandal is not that we are “scandalized” by the worlds rejection but how many seem to respond:

“Some Evangelicals not only fight back and argue against it, We insist on our rights and worse of all we begin to adapt. We begin to reshape ourselves and our story. We diminish the stumbling block and, to establish our credibility, we begin to rewrite the story.”

“If we are Emergent… We say it is just our story. You have your narrative. We have our narrative. All God’s children have their narrative … You don’t need to be scandalized. I just have a different story, and I’m not sure about my story. Will you let me into your cool club?”

“If we are Seeker-sensitive, then we take the story and remove the sharp edges of talking about sin and judgment and wrath because people don’t want to hear about that.”

I won’t go into much more detail. Instead let me encourage you to check out the whole story at The Layman Online. They have done an excellent job of chronicling Sproul’s message.  But I do want to share one more of Sproul’s observations, related to the laments listed above about some common responses:

“When we remember the Gospel – when we remember our own salvation – we remember the necessity of resting in His provision. In our sanctification, we are called to have our heart, mind and soul rest in His wisdom.”

And this is also true of our mission.

The primary aim of our mission is to extend the Gospel of the Kingdom. To do this we must faithfully proclaim the rich, deep, truth of the gospel in all it’s dimensions.  Our hope is that this message will impact many, many people.  BUT we must be clear, and we must regularly remind ourselves and one another, that we cannot make the hope of impacting many people the priority over faithful proclamation.

I am afraid many are inverting these priorities.  The measure of success, in such cases, is numbers of people at the expense if gospel fidelity.  So we embrace either the Seeker or Emergent approach Sproul mentioned above, or something of a similar ilk.   But when we are willing to accept a gospel that is not complete, or even necessarily accurate, we then are preaching a different Gospel than the one that is faithful to Christ.  Success may be apparent, but as Paul warned, if anyone is preaching a gospel different from the one the Apostles preached they are “perverting” the gospel. What they are preaching is “no gospel at all”.  (Galatians 1.6-9)

If what is preached is not faithful to Christ, then it follows that the mission cannot be of Christ.  We may want to offer it to him, but it is not his mission. Christ is the King. He dictates the message, the means, and the motive.

So if such mission, mission in the name of Christ but without the genuine message of Christ, is not really mission for Christ, then who is it for?  Us. For our own sense of importance; For our own apparent success in the eyes of those around us;  Perhaps even, we think and hope, so that God will be pleased with us.  But regardless of the motive, such motive for mission is not so much for God’s glory as it is for selfish ambition. (See Philippians 1.17, Philippians 2.3)

What Sproul suggests about our sanctification, that we must “rest in his provision”, must also be applied to our mission ambition. We must rest in his provision of pure gospel and gospel power.

When Helping Hurts

With the re-emergence of ministries of mercy by Evangelicals have also come definite challenges.  I am delighted that this trend of compassion continues on the upswing. But I am also aware of both the theological and practical dilemmas that inevitably face anyone who is engaged in such outreach.

The video above in an interview with two highly qualified mercy ministry experts, Brian Fikkert and Steven Corbett. I don’t know much about Corbett, but it was my privilege to get to know Brian when he was establishing the Chalmers Center.  (Brian’s son was also on my daughters first soccer team. )  And Brian, along with a few of his colleagues, were instrumental in helping the church I then served to develop our ministry among the poor in Walker County Georgia.

In the video Fikkert and Corbett discuss the premiss behind their excellent, must-read, book: When Helping Hurts.  They address practical and philosophical dimensions of such issues as cultivationg dependency, etc.

5 Suggestion for Receiving Criticism

Benjamin Franklin once mused:

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain… and most fools do.”

I don’t like receiving criticism and, since I am being honest here, I don’t often appreciate it either. I understand that it comes with the territory. I understand that when processed correctly criticism can prove beneficial to my character, competence, and even toward Christ-likeness. But still, I don’t like it.  Everything within me wants to avoid it.  I find myself thinking: “There’s got to be some other way.”

But there is no other way.  There is no life immune from criticism. There is no growth without criticism.

So the question, then, is: How to process criticism well?  How do I learn to benefit from the criticism that I need, while at the same time learn to discard the criticism that comes from those Ben Franklin classifies as “fools”.

Mark Altrogge, at The Blazing Center, offers some helpful hints in a post he titles:  How to Receive Criticism Like a Champ.  Here is the gist of Altrogge’s  five suggestions:

1. If it comes from a believer, view it as a kindness – oil for your head – an act of love.

Ask God to help you receive it and not refuse it.  Or start openly crying, which is embarrassing.  Be a man – be like David – “Let a righteous man strike me; it is a kindness.”

2. Make it easy for people to bring stuff to you.

It’s not easy to talk to someone about their sin or weakness.  Thank them and assure them you’re glad they’d share with you.  (And pray that you really would be glad!)  Then you can hit the trapdoor button to drop them into the cellar.

3. Remember you ARE a sinner.

Hate to break it to you, but you will actually blow it from time to time.  Last I checked, none of us have been completely sanctified yet.  Except for my sister, who I think may have sinned once in her entire lifetime.  But the rest of us will sin.  We’ll blow it.  We don’t do everything perfect.  And even if I’m criticized unjustly for something, there’s plenty of other things I should be criticized and judged for, but won’t be, for Jesus paid for all my sins and failures.

4. There’s almost always some truth in every criticism, even if it’s inaccurate or given poorly.

There may still be something valuable for you to learn.  There’s some reason they are perceiving things this way.  Though Professor Grinchwold did humiliate me, my 3-d fly was kind of dumb.

5. Don’t be wise in your own eyes.

Assume people see things you can’t. We all have blind spots.  There could be something you’re missing.

My thanks to Mark Altrogge for his excellent post, and for reminding us that sometimes wisdom is found through criticism.

As Solomon told us:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. ~ Proverbs 27.6

Now Why This Fear

Now why this fear and unbelief?
Has not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for us?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Now canceled at the cross?

Jesus, all my trust is in Your blood
Jesus, You’ve rescued us
Through Your great love

Verse 2
Complete atonement You have made
And by Your death have fully paid
The debt Your people owed
No wrath remains for us to face
We’re sheltered by Your saving grace
And sprinkled with Your blood

How sweet the sound of saving grace
How sweet the sound of saving grace
Christ died for me

Verse 3
Be still my soul and know this peace
The merits of your great high priest
Have bought your liberty
Rely then on His precious blood
Don’t fear your banishment from God
Since Jesus sets you free

~ from The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11

Lyrics by Augustus Toplady

Reclaiming St Patrick’s Day

Did you know that, in his lifetime, Patrick of Ireland was never associated with the Roman Catholic Church?  In fact, if one examines Patrick’s beliefs and practices, along with his British Christian heritage, we find that if he were alive today Patrick, that pioneer missionary, would actually fall quite naturally within Evangelicalism. 

Check out these resources about Patrick & Celtic Christianity:

And in his article, Reclaiming St. Patrick’s Day, Ted Olsen makes 5 suggestions about how we might better celebrate Patrick’s legacy:

  1. Figfhting Human Trafficking
  2. Evangelism
  3. Multi-ethnic Community & Incarnational Ministry
  4. Christian Education
  5. Submitting to Authorities AND Rebelling Against Them

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

This famous prayer, one of the earliest known European vernacular poems, has been attributed to Patrick – though some scholars say a few of the words indicate a later period. But there is no question that they ooze the spirit and substance we see in Patrick’s Confession. And they reverberate with the power of Christianity that Patrick gave to his adopted land – Ireland.

Some Christians today find great value in memorizing this classic prayer and repeating it each morning upon arising. But even if that is not something you think you might want to try, at least take some time to read through this prayer, reflect on the awesome truths expressed in thus poetic prayer.


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 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 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 snare 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 and 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.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!