Rop tussu t’ áenur m’ urrann úais amra: ní chuinngim daíne ná maíne marba.
Be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might.
Whole armor: My only source of protection. True might: My only source of power. It’s as if the Christ becomes a vehicle, a conveyance for the self.
This appears to be a paradox with the established doctrine of the Christian being the conveyance for the Christ (Galatians 2:20). But other passages like John 6:56 and John 15:5 speak of the opposite: Christ as a conveyance for us. Taking the Eucharist places Him in US. But we also rest in him.
I spend a good deal of discipleship bandwidth on the concept of displacing myself and inviting Jesus in. How does it differ in practice and doctrine to focus on the opposite; on Jesus letting me in? How do I get inside Jesus?
Remain in me, as I also remain in you.John 15:4a
The NIV uses the word “remain” while the NASB and the KJV use the word “abide”. The Message paraphrase says “live”. The Greek word here is “meno” meaning to stay, continue, dwell, or be present.
In the one sense – it’s a beautiful promise that the Spirit of Jesus will stay, continue, dwell and be present in us. It depends on God to be faithful. Conversely, it is a challenge to our distractable natures to do the same. How often do we find ourselves wounded and we think it is somehow a failure of our Godly armor, when in fact we simply did not put it on? How often do we feel weak as a kitten, thinking that God’s strength has failed us when we simply forgot to depend on it?
It Depends on Me…
Staying, continuing, dwelling and being present in Christ does NOT depend on God. It depends on me. If it were up to God to ensure that I accept him, it would be coercion; an assault. We have a word describe it when one person forces another person into intimate contact. God has never done that. Yet, God never abandons me either. I abandon him. His armor never fails to stop an attack, but I fail to put it on.
This line in the song is not so much a plea as it is a reminder to myself.