Saturday, August 15, 2015

Strong Enough

Daily reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
August 15, 2015

Focus scripture: Stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace.  Ephesians 6:14-15

The genius of the end of the letter of Ephesians lies in the author taking something so ordinary.  Something that everyone in Ephesus,something that everyone in the Roman Empire could imagine.  You see Pauline theology does this masterful work of subverting empire language and turning it on its head.

He takes this powerful image of the solider that represents a readiness for battle and speaks about peace of the gospel.  This armor rather than prepare us for violence, prepares us to be faithful,to be bold, to be prepared and to be confident in Christ.  Rather than the armor becoming a weapon of self defense it becomes our guide.

Everyone living at the time that the letter was written in the Roman Empire would have known exactly what a solider looked like.    Everyone.  Of course when we see armor, we know that battle is a possibility, that war is a possibility. 

We know full well to what extent we will go to either gain power
or to maintain power.  Yet the author of Ephesians reminds us
that there is another battle going on  and it isn’t one against flesh and blood.  As is written in verse 12, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

You see there are so many opportunities throughout our day where we have to choose how we will react to the forces that try to throw us off balance.  What happens when the armor I have constructed and spent hours, days and perhaps years working to strengthen
doesn’t serve its purpose?  What happens when we realize that we cannot protect ourselves?  What happens when the rules of engagement seem to change over night?  

How will I react when the enemy has an unfair advantage? What happens when our efforts are as fruitful as trying to hold a ball of dry sand in our hands and it quickly slips through our fingers?
What if, the armor we are looking for isn’t of our own making? What if instead the culmination of this letter that began with looking at how everything we do needs to be God centered ends with a confession of sorts, just like it began?

Prayer:  God protect me this day as I seek to follow faithfully in the way of Jesus. Amen.

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