WEAR ARMOR INSTEAD OF GREEN

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-11 & 14-18, NIV

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of wearing green to protect against being pinched on St. Patrick’s Day originated? According to Irish folklore, leprechauns like to pinch people, but for some reason, wearing green makes you invisible to them. So if you don’t wear green, you are a pinching target!

I find an interesting connection between this tradition, Ephesians 6, and a prayer that has long been attributed to St. Patrick. Of course, the armor of God protects us from far more than pinching, and our true enemy is vastly more malevolent than leprechauns.

The prayer attributed to St. Patrick is called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. According to legend, St. Patrick was on a mission to convert a druid chieftain and was protected from ambush by pagan enemies because he prayed this prayer which contains clear echoes of Ephesians 6. When my students wear their green on St. Patrick’s Day, I sometimes share a copy of this prayer as part of a discussion about the origins of the legends and traditions.

Here is an excerpt of the portion I believe references Ephesians 6:

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.

No matter what dangers we face, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is our protector!

Thank You, Lord, that we have spiritual armor to protect us from our true enemy. Amen.

Copyright Vicki Milczewsky.

Vicki is a teacher and former Christian Educators staff member from California.

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