It’s Thursday morning, March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. Will I wear green? Sure. Why not? Does anyone still pinch people who don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?
Stephanie will get to spend today with a friend of hers, which is good. It will be a good diversion for her.
Yesterday was a pretty good day for all of us, I think. Certainly looking forward to the weekend, though. We’ll be visiting with my parents and some other family that we haven’t seen in a while, hopefully.
What better way to begin a St. Patrick’s Day devotion than to speak of the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision?” According to Fascinating Facts of the Faith, this hymn has been “part of Irish monastic tradition for centuries.” The lyrics are attributed to a sixth-century monk named Dallan Forgaill. He was martyred by pirates in 598. “During his life, he was widely known as the chief poet of Ireland. It wasn’t translated into English until 1905, by Mary E. Byrne. The tune is an old Irish folk song, “Slane,” which “tells the story of Slane Hill where in AD 433 St. Patrick lit candles on Easter Eve in defiance of the pagan king Loe-gaire.
Here are the modern English lyrics of the hymn:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tower:
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Thou and thou only first in my heart;
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O Bright Heaven’s sun!;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
And here’s a version of the hymn, sung by Selah.
I’m including a brief message about work, taken from the Tabletalk Magazine reading for today. The Scripture reference is Colossians 3:22-24, which says, Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. The reading says this: “Christians should make the best employees, and they should embody efficiency, loyalty, hard work, and every other trait that good employees prize.” I believe this whole-heartedly! And I try my hardest to make this my philosophy at work. This is my “work ethic.” I want to please my supervisors and managers, yes. But ultimately, I work for the Lord, and I want to please him. Therefore, when I work, it is my goal to make sure that everything I do is done right, and I take responsibility for my actions. If I make a mistake, I take responsibility for it, and don’t try to blame anyone else. If I find a mistake by someone else, I fix it and move on. I don’t point it out with great pleasure over someone else’s mistake. At the end of the day, if I have given my employer a good eight hours, I’m satisfied. And I hope that my God is satisfied with me.
Today’s Bible readings:
Mark spends no time at all on the birth of Christ. He jumps right into John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. Mark is probably the oldest of the four gospels. He was also thought to be very young, probably just a teen when Christ was crucified. In many ways, he gives a quick summary of the events of Jesus’s life. The temptations of Christ barely get a paragraph. The calling of the first disciples gets five verses. Mark seems to focus on things like healing and casting out demons. He also makes it a point to state that Jesus went out to a desolate place to pray.
The cities of refuge are instated, and become the inheritance of the Levites. These were places where a person could flee if they committed a “crime of passion” or accidentally killed someone. For a more detailed description, read the chapter.
Elihu is still talking. He, like the others, continues to make slightly incorrect statements about both Job and God.
(From Discovering the Bible, by Gordon L. Addington)
Father, I pray that you would be my vision. The words to that hymn have always been inspiring to me. Whether I wake or sleep, whether by day or by night, no matter what I do, ultimately, the only thing that matters is that you are. Your presence is my light. I pray that you would be my wisdom. Be with me constantly throughout my day, both at work and at rest. Be my refuge, my high tower. Be my delight! Yes, Lord, I want to delight in you, as the Psalmist says. You are my treasure, Lord! I do not long for “man’s empty praise.” You are my inheritance, Lord. You are all I need.
I thank you that you have placed within my heart the work ethic that I have. I have not attained this by my own feeble wisdom, or by my own efforts. I give you all the credit for it. And I praise you for it.
I pray for this day, Father. Give Christi a good day at work, and myself, as well. I pray for Stephanie’s day with her friend, and pray that they will have a fabulous time!
Let the Lord be your vision today. Seek his wisdom; delight in him!
Grace and peace, friends.