Saturday, January 18, 2014

St. Peter and St. Patrick

Apparently, telling by my FB feed, it is St. Peter's day:
Today we remember the Confession of Peter: “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’” (Matt. 16: 15-18 ESV). (Image: Peter by Francesco del Cossa, 1473)

As Lutherans we stress that this foundation rock is the confession of Jesus Christ, which Peter made.  Always the message is more important than the sinful man, though the man can also be the message, especially with Christ who is medium and message. It is Christ to whom all authority has been given on heaven and earth.  He also delegated some of this to the church when it is to bind and release sin.  So, there is always overlap, but Christ is in all and through all.

Which brings me to St. Patrick.  He made this beautiful and simple prayer, which is flying around in my purse.  Maybe I should laminate it.

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, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

There are people who want to wrest this confession out of our hearts, minds and souls.  I have been assailed by such people.  They are indefatigable.  It does make you wonder what exactly motivates them.  

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

1 comment:

SAM7 said...

May God forever be praised.