At most churches, on most Sunday’s we do not hear a loud triumphant call to battle. We might shout for joy for all that God has done. We may give thanks for God’s mercy in our lives. We may pray for forgiveness and continuing grace.
However, we do not often hear a call to battle. We just don’t seem to phrase it that way anymore. Many Christians have adopted a pacifist stance with their faith. We do serve the Prince of Peace and it was Jesus who said to turn the other cheek. While Just War theology does exist and is practiced by some, by and large on most Sunday’s this is not the subject that comes up.
How then do we deal with images of violence and war when we find them in scripture? The Old Testament is full on conflict as Israel waged war on its enemies. However, in the New Testament and the new covenant we have with Christ, violence is no longer the accepted or expected go to answer.
So what do we do with Paul’s passage from Ephesians about the Armour of God? In this passage Paul seems to be calling us to arms. Encouraging us to put on our armour and to go out and fight? Except is this what Christians are supposed to do? This passage appears to conflict with many of our assumptions and ideas about what it means to be a Christian.
Text: Ephesians 6: 10-20
Questions for Sunday
- Does the idea of putting on the Armor of God frighten or excite you?
- Why do you feel this way?
- How do you think God wants you to fight?
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Father, eternal God almighty, I come before you this morning confessing that I am confused about how I can best serve you. I follow your son, the Prince of Peace and yet I recognize that I may be called to fight. These conflicting ideals are confusing and I seek your guidance on how I should proceed. Speak to me in the silence loving God, that I may know your will. Amen.