Devotion for the Third Sunday in March
“I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, in which we remember Ireland, drink beer, wear green, and – if you are in Chicago – turn the river green.
But the story of St. Patrick is an incredible one. The part of the story I like best is how he got to Ireland in the first place.
When Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured as a slave and taken from his home country of Britain and shipped to Ireland. He described that he used this time to strengthen his faith and pray constantly. Six years later he felt that God told him to be free. So he left his masters, stowed away on a ship, and escaped.
Years later, after becoming a priest, Patrick got a vision in a dream. In that dream, a man from Ireland called to him to return to Ireland and preach the gospel there. So that is exactly what Patrick did. He returned to the country – the country in which he was enslaved – and preached. Subsequently, the nation believed in the good news and became a Christian country.
Patrick exemplifies what Paul said to the Philippians. No matter what his circumstances, he turned to God in prayer, and God used him. Patrick reminds us that God can do the same with us.
For the closing prayer, pray these following words of St. Patrick:
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. Amen.
In Christ,
Pastor David Armstrong-Reiner