“Christ be with me…”

Since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I’m a bit of a proud Irish lass, I thought I’d use a bit of St. Patrick’s words (those attributed to him anyway) and his story in my devotion for this week. As Lutherans, we don’t venerate saints in the same way that Roman Catholics do, but I think we can certainly honor and learn a lot from them.

St. Patrick is perhaps best known for bringing the Gospel to Ireland, decades after having been captured and taken there as a slave. During his time as a slave, he turned to God in prayer. Later, as a bishop, he returned to Ireland to spread God’s Word to all on the island.

I love that he returned to a place of struggle to share God’s Word with those who hadn’t heard it. But today, in this moment, I’m appreciating the prayers that are attributed to him. One in particular reminds me of Christ’s constant presence all around us, all of the time. Part of this prayer (which is also in the form of a hymn in our hymnal) reads:

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me,
Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me, Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.

In this prayer, may we not only be reminded of Christ’s presence in our lives, may we also seek out the unexpected places where he meets us in our joys, sorrows, and every day experiences.