As we approach Thanksgiving, the Lord put me in training. Last week John and I enjoyed a three-day cycling trip around Paso Robles – a new spot for us. We cycled the backroads and vineyard vistas of Paso, astonished at their autumnal beauty. With each stroke of the pedals, I couldn’t help but pant, “Thank you, Lord. . .Thank you, Lord.”
This Sunday we’ll explore an ancient prayer that may inspire you, as well, to pant, “Thank you, Lord!” It’s a universally beloved prayer that began its life in Ireland, “The Breastplate of St. Patrick.”
Each stanza begins with the triumphant cry, “I arise today!” Then St. Patrick enumerates all the reasons we can arise – the wisdom and courage of ancient forebears, the beauty and power found in nature, the mysteries of heaven, the protections of Christ.
Some of us may feel a little down, thinking about the coming Thanksgiving holiday – no exciting family arrivals, no bustling in the kitchen with our culinary cousins, no beautiful tables laid out with place-settings for more and more.
But this prayer reminds us that we arise, every day, through the love and power of God, pulsing through the lives of ancestors, teachers, parents, prophets, moonlight and ocean, fire and wind.
If you need to “rise” this week, listen to Sunday’s sermon and join me in praying, “The Breastplate of St. Patrick.”