I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, 2nd stanza
Taken out of the rest of the poem, this looks suspiciously like something we might read in church. A creed of some sort. And it is, but not in the usual way. It’s not an “I agree with the general ideas or principles” kind of thing: it’s a “there isn’t a single part of Jesus’ life that was unrelated to God” proclamation.
Christ is born: God giving him to the world; Christ is baptized: Jesus gives his work life over to God for us.
Christ is crucified: this world of fear rejects him; Christ is buried: his friends and family give Jesus back to the earth and to God.
Christ is resurrected: Jesus reveals the face of God, his face, to his followers; Christ ascends: the humanity of Jesus is forever part of the inner life of God.
His descent for the judgment of doom: death cannot separate anyone from the love of God. Our small, partial, fragile egos are doomed because our true, whole, God given selves are too big and too holy for them to contain.
These things we read in poems and creeds were never meant to drag us down or punish us. They are our strength because they reveal the soul saving truth: no one is excluded from the love of God. We arise in this time and in this place through the strength they give us.