“St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today”
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! “What??” you’re saying. “Pastor, have you lost your mind? St. Patrick’s Day was back on March 17. This is now May something. What’s up with this ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’?”
Well, alright, I’ll tell you, since you asked. This day is not really St. Patrick’s Day. But it is a day on which St. Patrick can teach us something about what this day really is about, and that is, it’s Trinity Sunday. Yes, today in the church year is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, a day on which we focus on the biblical doctrine of the Holy Trinity–on the divine reality of the Holy Trinity and how absolutely essential this reality is for our life and faith and salvation. The Holy Trinity, the one true God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–this is the only God there is. This is the God of our salvation.
On this one Sunday in the year, we call special attention to this truth. On this day we speak out loud one of the three ecumenical creeds of the church, the Athanasian Creed, which goes into the most detail on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. On this day, all of our hymns are particularly Trinitarian, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “We All Believe in One True God,” and so on.
It is in that context, then, that I can say to you this morning, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” For St. Patrick–yes, that St. Patrick, the missionary to Ireland–wrote one of the hymns that we’re using today (or at least it is attributed to him). And this hymn–you heard the choir sing it earlier–this hymn is profoundly Trinitarian and most fitting for our instruction, inspiration, and edification today, on this Feast of the Holy Trinity. And so our theme for this morning: “St. Patrick’s Breastplate: I Bind unto Myself Today.”