Saint Patrick’s Breastplate – an Old Irish, 8th century prayer.
I came across this prayer today!
Yes, today of all days.
Why is today – Oct 31 2017 so special?
It is the 500th year of the Christian Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the door of a church. And by doing that, he set us free to worship God in spirit and in truth.
But why do we need to worship Him? Is He a narcissist? Is that why He wants us to pray all the time?
Well, just as how a mother wouldn’t NEED anything from the child in the womb, God doesn’t NEED our worship. He only wants us to dwell in safety. But worship is OUR umbilical cord and life thrives when we worship God.
But what exactly do we mean by worship?
Worship is beholding. Beholding the heart of the one you love. And you can’t have a mediator for that. You can’t do it as if it is a ritual or a routine.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Even when she knew Him as the prophet, she didn’t get closer to God. She didn’t experience the fullness of truth. Her spirit didn’t fully come alive.
But the moment she knew that she was talking to God, the Messiah, life changed forever.
Who am I that you have come to visit me?
You know everything and you are still here talking to me!
What sort of love is this?
What is this I feel?
A river of joy flowing inside of me.
In her spirit, I think this is how she would have rejoiced in Him.
God can’t be found in the buildings we have constructed. We can’t find Him by chanting magic mantras and mystic songs. Even reciting the Lord’s prayer a thousand times won’t help. For He is a REAL person and we’ve got to encounter Him every single day of our lives.
Once you encounter Him, you would be bubbling over with His love like the Samaritan woman.
Like Mary you would break forth into a song, like Anna you would rejoice in the Lord, and like Simeon you would prophesy and decree the things of God.
Yes, filled with His joy, like St. Patrick you would write your own loricas unto the Lord.
Like Martin Luther, you would step out fearlessly and tear down the veils constructed by man. Because that is what Jesus did. He came to break down the yoke of religion.
He didn’t come to establish another religion called Christianity. He came to tear down anything that separated man from accessing the face of God.
The Son came to tear down the veil with a vengeance. When He was nailed to the cross, the Father, Son and Spirit were passionately working together to bring down the walls of separation.
God was reconciling the world to Himself.
As long as the veil exists, we are separated from God. But now the veil is torn. We don’t need mediators to access the Father’s heart, the Son’s love and the beloved comforter’s fellowship.
This was the dream that He carried in His heart since day one. He knew that a day would come when He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh and dwell within the heart of man.
And that day is here.
All these forerunners have walked ahead to pave the way for us to access the abundant life in Christ. They embraced their calling and each one did what they were called to do.
Without them – the cloud of witnesses, the scribes, translators, martyrs, missionaries, teachers, prophets, priests, saints, nuns, bishops, apostles – we wouldn’t be where we are.
Everyone’s walk with God matters. And so does yours, dear reader of these words.
You are part of His eternal plan.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10
You’ll never know what’s in store for you until you spread your wings and begin to fly.
And as you set upon your new journey, know that God is with you every single moment of your life.
Anchored in Him, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
P.S. (or Paul’s ‘finally’)
I just wanted to save the prayer, and these links in this journal. But once I started writing, I was led to write about worship and the rest of the stuff. So, here’s Brian Simmons’ post that ignited the spark today.
But many today don’t realize that the spark of the reformation was a Bible translation. It was the first translation of the Bible into English by John Wycliffe, in 1382. Read more – It Only Takes a Spark by Brian Simmons.
And now, it’s our turn to walk by faith and be a part of this divine mystery.
Although the Reformation of Christianity began a half-millennium ago, it has not completed its destiny. christianreformation500years.info
So, Let’s do it by knowing that God is with us every step of the way.
Have a wonderful day. 🙂