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Ready for the Day

Personal Mission Field/Preparation

Today I gird myself with the power of the order of the cherubim, with the obedience of angels, with the ministry of archangels, with the expectation of resurrection for the sake of a reward, with the prayers of the patriarchs, with the predictions of the prophets, with the precepts of the apostles, with the faith of the confessors, with the innocence of holy virgins, with the deeds of righteous men.

  - Anonymous, Faeth Fiada (Irish, 8th century)

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

  - Psalm 91.11

It's easy to dismiss a poem like Faeth Fiada ("Patrick's Breasplate") as merely a curious cultural relic of little more than historical value. But these poems were used by serious people with a serious faith in Christ to prepare themselves for the day ahead.

Let's look at all that's packed into just this one stanza, which served generations of Celtic believers as a guide in preparing for a day of facing all manner of temptation and trial. First we note the invocation of angels, and the expectation that those angels will be sent and will do their job of protecting the believer. They are obedient to the One Who sends them as ministering spirits. Anyone who really believes this - and the Word does teach it - is likely to know a bit more boldness during the day than, well, most of us do.

Second, the view to the end: "expectation of resurrection." The psalmist would say "what can man do to me?" The worst that could happen on any given day would be that we die, but if we're focused on the promise of resurrection, we can say, like Paul, that dying would be "gain", for beyond this life the reward of heaven waits.

Next, the one preparing for the day with this poem expresses his confidence that the saints and angels in heaven ("patriarchs") are praying for him, a notion derived, perhaps, from texts like Revelation 5.8 and 8.1-4. Talk about encouragement!

Finally, note the confidence expressed in the Word of God (prophets and apostles), the faith of the Church (confessors), the holiness of virgins, and all of this - all this preparation - to pursue a path defined by the good deeds of righteous men.

I would say this Celtic dude had a great quiet time the day his preparations included all this.

So we can just dismiss this breatplate poem, or perhaps we can learn something from it about how to prepare for a day of living the faith once for all committed to the saints with a view to turning our world upside-down for Jesus Christ.

Which do you choose?

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

Congress is back in session. Will we back them in prayer? ReVision tells us why we should.

Need a little help managing your time in this New Year?  If so, then our January free download, "To Number Our Days," might be of help. Get your copy at the website right now, and share it with some friends.

And while you're there, don't miss Jess Slusher's lovely short story, "A Thin Place."

Our course, "The Writing Pastor," begins in just two weeks. Now is the time to sign up for this six-month webinar to help you make writing a more integral part of your own ministry for the Lord.

If you'd like some help in learning to pray and sing the psalms, visit our bookstore and order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter or Voices Together, two valuable resources than can give your spiritual life a lasting boost.

Finally, our mentoring course, "The Road to Maturity: Practicing the Kingship of Jesus," is all about setting up a workable program of spiritual and ministry disciplines that can help you to know ongoing revival in your walk with the Lord. Why not consider signing up with one of our Mentors today?

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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