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Ephesians 6:10-20The Armor of God

Monday, December 21, 2015roman helmet

In this last week of Advent, we revisit some favorites that remind us of God’s deep and abiding love for us. Today’s reflection is from December 2, 2009. 

Jesus comes to the world not as Plan B after Adam and Eve falter and lose Paradise; rather, he comes to save all of us from our poverty and pain.  This is why we ought not struggle against our suffering.  This is why we find Christ in our anguish and distress.  This is why our anxiety and fear can lead us to transformation once we arm ourselves with the proper armor against the battles we will surely face.

When tragedy happens, when anger grips us, when we become twisted with self-interest and delusion, the one true source of tranquility is union with all of humanity through and with and in the Mystical Corpus of Christ.

roman shieldChrist is, Christ always will be, Christ always has been.  When he arrived in human form among us in a way that we might see and touch him, many of those who followed him wished that he would take a physical sword and shield to begin reaping and avenging.  Many scholars believe that it is for this reason that in the early part of each Gospel, Jesus cautions those who are healed by his touch to keep the story quiet.  He knows that his actions will be taken and converted into human measures and values.  He knows that he come to enact a new way of being and interacting.  He knows that the kingdom is yet to be enacted.  After his death and resurrection and his reappearance in human form, his followers begin to see Christ as he truly is . . . a divinity who loves his creation so intensely that he has born all the transgressions and has redeemed us all.  Even though he has been raised to new plane and place, he still abides among us, bearing the scars of his human life, urging, comforting, encouraging, healing.  There is no condition and no status that he does not understand because he is all.  And we all are one in him.

How do we follow in Jesus steps?  What sort of armor and weapons do we use if we wish to follow him into this place of security and happiness?  Paul reminds us today.

roman swordWhen we stand before the mirror to check our hair, our clothes, our way of being in the world before we go out the door, what do we see?

A shield of anger or of faith?

A belt of lies or of truth?

A breastplate of revenge or of righteousness?

A protective helmet of thick walls and indestructible pathologies or the Word of God which is our only salvation?

Shoes that walk over old paths to harp on old grievances or sandals that take us where God calls so that we might proclaim the story of our own salvation for the praise of God?

As Paul tells us: Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.  To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication. 

There is no other armor we need in this world than the armor of God.  Let us take it gladly and rejoice that Christ is come.  And let us lay our grievances and worries at his feet to rise with him in a new life.

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