Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eph. 6:10-20 "Fighting the Empire: How to defeat the cosmic forces of evil

Darkness reigns, right? We seem to be in an age where darkness reigns supreme, but there is hope. Much like the galaxy faced certain doom as the Empire lunched the death star, there seems to be a certain doom the engulfs our current situation.

I love museums. I have been to some of the best in the world, the Louvre, The British Museum of Arts, the D.I.A and the Philbrook in Tulsa, OK. I have yet to visit the "MET", but it's on my bucket list. When I was young I loved to go to the part of the museum that housed the Medieval suits of armor. I thought. "those are so cool", but in reality I bet they were pretty hot as well as inconvenient. Could you imagine battling in something that bulky? Now Roman armor, that was built for comfort and speed.

Romans wore a light metal mesh "shirt", carried a light wooden shield over laid with animal hide, a light metal sword with a wooden handle, a breathable helmet made of animal hide, a leather belt with a leather and metal beaded mesh to protect the "jewels" and treaded, leather sandals. This suit of armor was designed to make the soldiers mobile and to keep then from receiving any mortal wounds....simply so they could go on fighting in battle.

The "armor of God" in the Pauline letter to Ephesus uses this roman armor as a template for the battle ready armor of the followers of the way of Jesus and it was not simply to keep them from dying, but to empower them for living. Each piece of armor as  a spiritual signifigance. Essentially what is being said is this, believers are armed with, or better yet given the "tools" (I say tools because "armed" denotes weapons and weapons denote violence, something our society needs to deal with) of truth, righteousness, peace, salvation, faith and Spirit.

It is with these these tools that we are to dispel the forces of darkness the rule this current age. These tools are the things that we, the church, are building the kingdom of God with. The truth that God loves all, a righteousness that seeks the well being of all humanity, a peace the transcends all understanding, a salvation from hate, intolerance and greed, faith that moves mountains and a Spirit that empowers, heals, and comforts all.

With this tool box it seems to me that evil, darkness and hatred don't stand a chance.

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