Archive for February 22nd, 2023

Exile and Return


Written by Reggie Kidd, a contemporary pastor, professor, and author. This is an excerpt from the book “Exile and Return.”

The Bible’s most consistent through-theme is that of “exile and return.” There’s the loss of Eden by our original parents, and our return to Paradise on that future day when earth and heaven will be made new. There’s Israel’s succumbing to slavery in Egypt at the end of the patriarchal age, and their exodus under Moses to freedom in the Promised Land. There’s Israel’s exile in Assyria and Judah’s exile in Babylon at the end of the divided monarchy, and Isaiah’s promised new exodus back to the Promised Land under Ezra and Nehemiah. Every story, every novel, every movie that tells of a quest to return home is a retelling of this motif, from Odysseus in the Odyssey to Shadow, Chance, and Sassy in Homeward Bound. Our waywardness separates us from the God who, in his love, made us for himself. God’s persistent love, tireless faithfulness, and non-negotiable holiness work to win us back—over and over and over again, until his love, faithfulness, and holiness yield a renewed planet and restored fellowship between our Creator and us. “Exile and return” is our story. 


Written by St. Patrick (385-461), a Christian missionary and bishop who served in Ireland. This is known as the “breastplate prayer.”

I bind unto myself today. The strong name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three. 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. I bind unto myself the power of the great love of the Cherubim; The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour; The service of the Seraphim, Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word, the Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls, all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of virgin souls. 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. I bind unto myself today. The power 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 heavenly host to be my guard. Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course; or few or many, far or nigh, in every place and in all hours against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy powers. Against all Satan’s spells and wiles, against false words of heresy, against the knowledge that defiles, against the heart’s idolatry, against the wizard’s evil craft, against the death-wound and the burning the choking wave and the poisoned shaft, protect me, Christ, till thy returning. 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. 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 hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word: Praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

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