Greetings in the name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I love writing those words, filled with meaning and hope. This article is being written during the week between the celebration of Pentecost and Holy Trinity Sunday, a time, at least for this pastor, that is full of energy and vibrancy from our gift of the Holy Spirit given on Pentecost and many ministry and mission opportunities that beckon to a Sunday focused on a doctrine. It’s not exactly my idea of a celebration, but the Holy Trinity is our best effort in the church to explain, quantify, and define a God who is unknowable, indefinable, infinite, eternal, and incomprehensible. We confess through our creeds how God is a God of relationship, dynamic and life-giving. When I think of the Trinity, the need to combat various heresies in the early church comes to mind as different voices in the church came together to debate and struggle with a definition of faith. (As an aside, every time our beloved Cleveland Cavaliers make a three–point basket you can remember the Trinity as well!)
I would like to share a portion of the prayer of St. Patrick, which according to tradition was on his breastplate as he shared the Good News of Jesus Christ in Ireland.
“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 shield to protect me.
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 person 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.”
Living in God’s amazing grace,
Pastor Matthew Groenke