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The faithful feared God more than the Norsemen.

Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

  - Psalm 25.12-14

Bitter the wind tonight,/combing the sea's hair white:/from the North, no need to fear/the proud sea-coursing warrior.

  - Anonymous, "The Vikings" (Irish, 9th-10th century)

As the Celtic Revival wound down - the result of ecclesiastical power struggles and infighting - the North people made their way out of the bitter Scandanavian seas to the warmer coasts of Ireland, Britain, and Scotland.

There they murdered, stole, and destroyed whatever they could not carry off. The word "berserker" describes their savage attacks, which were especially focused on the many monasteries and churches in Ireland. "Red martyrdom" became a reality for thousands of priests, monks, and lay people as the Norsemen tore across their beloved country in wave after wave after wave.

Once the savagery began, and a pattern had become established, the beleaguered Irish knew it would not end until Ireland was reduce to poverty and rubble. They understood that the North seas would bring the scourge of the Norseman again in due season. And they did.

Yet the faithful remnant of Irish believers would not despair. They knew Him Who combed the seas white, and Whose purposes the Norsemen were fulfilling. They rested in the Lord and declared their devotion to Him, many of them as they were being hacked to death in defense of their sacred treasures.

The faithful feared God more than the Norsemen. And they knew God's friendship and peace, no matter how bad things became.

We may be inclined to think things are going to get worse in our country. That morals are going to decline even further, the economy to sink even deeper, our security to become even more tenuous, and our property to lose more of its value. And it may well be.

But we do not trust in such things, eh? And we do not cling to them as though they were our happiness or our purpose in life. Nor do we fear those whose berserking behavior may unleash a flood of ungodliness, irrationality, and economic chaos on our land.

We know Him in Whose hands are the hearts of every president and king, and we believe that He turns them withersoever He will. We know that He does all things well, and that He works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Let us look at the events of our day from a proper perspective - from our place seated with King Jesus at the Father's right hand. We may be required to suffer, but we will not despair. We do not tremble. We will not panic, fret, or flee.

We will wait on the Lord, and in His friendship, know peace.

Come what may.

T. M. Moore, Principal

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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.
Books by T. M. Moore

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