Oakland church

From Pastor Laurie, March 17, 2021

Yellow FlowersThe fresh green baby grass, and the blossoming sun- kissed daffodils awaken our senses to the coming of springtime.

 This week, these springtime celebrations include, St. Patrick’s day, and  the Vernal Equinox.

As I’ve learned from my Irish ancestors, the Celts were adventurers. They sailed off into unknown lands, sometimes sailing without a rudder, trusting that God would bring them to their place of resurrection, their place of wholeness and vocation. Each day was greeted as an adventure, filled with danger and possibility.

Aware of the challenges of life, and beauty and tragedy around every corner, Celtic travelers often drew a circle around themselves as they began each journey. The circle (or “caim”) reminded them that they were always encircled by God’s care. In the spirit of Psalm 139, they trusted that if they ascended to the heavens, God would be with them.

Spring Flowers

 If they descended to the depths, God would also be their companion.

Legend has it that a local chieftain was out to get Patrick. The chieftain sent his men to kill Patrick as he traveled along a lonely wooded road. As they closed in on Patrick, his pursuers discovered that somehow he disappeared. All they saw was a deer bounding across the road. From that adventure, legend has it that the Prayer of St. Patrick (the “Lorica” or “Breastplate”) emerged.  I leave you with these words and invite you to imagine Patrick drawing a circle around himself as he rotated in a clockwise manner. May we be reminded of God’s encircling care for us.

With Love,
Pastor Laurie

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
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 hosts to save me
far and near,
Alone or in a multitude.
Christ shield me today
Against wounding.
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 in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

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