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Rev. David Tews

As we continue our Lenten journey, which this year has seen several adjustments already because of ice and sleet covered roads, we have moved a number of our �Lenten Back to the Basics� articles of faith further down the road into Holy Week. The Lord willing, we should conclude our series on the Ten Commandments following Luther�s Small Catechism on Wednesday, March 25th. On Palm Sunday we will turn to the 2nd Chief Part in Luther�s Small Catechism, The Apostles Creed. Luther in His explanation of the Three Articles gives us some very rich Scriptural truths about our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Luther brings these profound teachings down to everyday living and makes them very personal as we shall see as we get into Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday we will look at the creating work of God the Father. On Good Friday we will see the redemption that God the Son paid for us by His precious blood shed on the cross. On Easter Sunday we take a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing and keeping us in the faith until our resurrection on the Last Day.
A special day in March that brings to mind the teaching of the Holy Trinity is March 17, Saint Patrick�s Day. It is a day not only celebrated by the church but by everyone who is or wants to be Irish on St. Patrick�s Day. Tradition has it, and the Irish have many legends and stories, that St. Patrick as a young Christian missionary to the pagan natives of Ireland used the shamrock, a three leafed clover, to explain the mystery of the Trinity, three Persons, yet one God. The shamrock has three leaves yet was still one. We have a hymn in both Lutheran Worship and Lutheran Service Book that is attributed to St. Patrick who lived from 372-466. Most music scholars believe that it comes from a later date probably the 11th century. It was put into its present metrical version by the English hymn writer Cecil F. Alexander and released on St. Patrick�s day in 1889. It is called �St. Patrick�s Breastplate� or as it is titled in our hymnbooks �I Bind Unto Myself Today.� In one of the stanzas one can almost hear the thunder of God�s ocean waves pounding the rocky shores of Ireland. May God continue to bless our lives as we get back to our roots in the basics of His Holy Word.

I Bind unto Myself Today
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 pow�r of faith, Christ�s incarnation,
His baptism in the Jordan River,
His cross of death for my salvation,
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heav�nly 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 pow�r of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need,
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The Word of God to give me speech,
His heav�nly host to be my Guard.

5 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!

Text: attr. St. Patrick, c. 372�466; para. Cecil F. Alexander, 1823�95 ST. PATRICK�S BREASTPLATE, Tune: Irish irregular, Text and tune: Public domain

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