Monday, December 21st, 2020
“Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench 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.”
When speaking of armor, many will automatically think of warfare protection. All the items pictured above are essential for soldiers: Belts; Breast plate/Bullet Proof Vest; Shoes; Shield/Protection; Helmet/Head Gear; Sword/Knife/Weapon. When we read the words from Paul in Ephesians, we see the warfare articles explained and are encouraged to fight with TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH, SCRIPTURE, and the GOSPEL.
Advent seems like an odd time to talk about armor and warfare; as Advent is a time we celebrate: HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE. Advent is preparing our hearts and minds for Jesus, preparing a way for Christ to the world. This preparation is usually done in churches and communities around the world but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic it is challenging this season of Advent. Challenging it is but many have stepped up to the task at hand by using platforms like; Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, Twitter, Parler, WordPress, and so many others to bring people together and share the love of God.
The battles Paul described in Ephesians and using the full armor of God are against “the wiles of the devil” and “the rulers, the authorities, cosmic powers of this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” ~Ephesians 6:11-12. God does not make us to look like a bunch of medieval knights, nor did He chose the following to be knights either; an old man and his wife traveling across the desert (Abraham/Sarah/Hagar); a sly kid who tricks his older brother out of a birthright (Jacob/Esau); a prisoner interpreting dreams (Joseph); a young woman agreeing to sacrifice her reputation and possibly her fiancée because God ask her to carry a child out of wedlock (Mary/Joseph). *See scripture references below.
Father Christmas did not bestow on the children all the same weapons of spiritual and physical defense but according to each child’s virtue. Likewise, God does the same for each of us. God’s anointing of such gifts comes from virtues such as: faith, cleverness, wisdom or humility. These gifts are to help us stand, stand firm and be prepared to proclaim the gospel of peace. We are to shine the light into places of darkness and sin in our world, stand against injustices. Are you ready? What is your calling? Some people are called to stand up at a protest; some are called to serve on boards at businesses and schools, some deliver speeches, other deliver meals while others share their financial resources with charities and their local communities. It’s not about big parts or little parts, not about a lot of money or no money; it is about using our time and talents for sharing the love and peace of God.
Take the armor God has given you seriously and prepare the way of the Lord, that “all the ends of the earth shall/will see the salvation of our God.” ~Isaiah 52:10
Questions for Reflection:
• What “battles” or causes need to be fought for in your town, neighborhood, or workplace? What issue is important enough to you to fight for it?
• What weapons or armor has God given you to stand against injustice or evil in your community?
*Abraham/Sarah/Hagar: Genesis 16:1-16; Genesis 21:8-21
*Jacob/Esau: Genesis 27:34-40
*Joseph: Genesis 39:20 through Genesis 40:23
*Mary/Joseph: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25