Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this, St. Patrick’s Feast Day, I ask that you slowly and carefully read the lyrics from one of our most beloved of all hymns. In this day and time I believe it has special relevance and a place in each of our hearts.
- 1 – I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.
- 2 – I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation, his baptism in the Jordan river, his death on cross for my salvation, his bursting from the spiced tomb, his riding up the heavenly way, his coming at the day of doom, I bind unto myself today.
- 3 – I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven, the glorious sun’s life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks, the stable earth, the deep salt sea around the old eternal rocks.
- 4 – I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay, God’s ear to hearken to my need, the wisdom of my God to teach, God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward, the word of God to give me speech, God’s heavenly host to be my guard.
- 5 – Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
- 6 – I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three, of whom all nature has creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word. Praise to the Lord of my salvation; salvation is of Christ the Lord!
Do you miss the gorgeous tune? Hear the Choir of Trinity College, University of Melbourne sing the Hymn of St. Patrick right here.
I know that all of you have been carefully watching the news, listening to the Governor, the President, all who are in some way or other addressing the continuing pandemic of coronavirus. I do not believe there is a person in the United States or perhaps even the world who has not been affected in some way. I am sad to report that today it has hit even closer to home and in a way that none of us will ever forget.
I, and all the Episcopal Clergy of the State of Michigan, have just received word from our respective Bishops that we are directed (my emphasis) to cease all activities in all Episcopal Churches until May 10, 2020. No services, no office hours, no meetings, no gatherings, absolutely nothing. Our buildings are to be deeply cleaned and locked up until we pick up our worship when allowed.
As people of faith, we know that this cannot end our relationship with our God, the Risen Lord and very importantly our brothers and sisters in Christ. As the hymn says,we are bound to God. We are bound through Christ. We are bound to each other.
These words from Romans, Chapter 8 tell us the following: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This pandemic cannot do it either. It may make it much harder. There may even belosses. But we will survive. God is there for us and always will be.
For the time being we need to pray constantly. There are many ways we can worship through the internet. The services from National Cathedral are nothing short of wonderful. There are links elsewhere in this mailing directing you to other resources.
Most importantly for us, we need to remain together as a community. Make it your goal to contact another church member daily. Make a call, send an email, drop a note or letter. Let them know that they are not forgotten and that they are important. We can and must continue to communicate with one another until such time that we can do so in person again. Every day Rev. Carol, your vestry and I will be making calls to check in on you. We, clergy and vestry, are asking that you do the same.
We are St. David’s. God has and will continue to bless us and to bless all who put their faith in him. Our God is a mighty God, an awesome God who is there for us! Trust in him now and always.
May God continue to bless and keep you.
With deepest affection, Fr. David