Ephesians 6 verse 13
Therefore take up the whole armour ofGod,
What is thearmour of God that Paul is referring to?
If I amtruthful this is an image that sits uncomfortably with me at the beginning ofthe 3rd Christian Millennium that is already proving to be filledwith as much violence and warfare as the first two. Swords and shields carried by those who claimto know all truth and claim to know the only way to salvation have caused somuch pain in the life of the world and within the church in its first twomillennium.
But thenagain I look around and see a world that is need of protection, millions inAfrica need protection from the evil of oppression, corruption violence, war,famine and displacement.
I Listenthose nearer home, to some of you sitting in church this morning, telling me ofyour struggles and battles, and I have been asked to pray for jobs, homes, afinancial blessing, faith in times of doubt, comfort in times of loss, peacewhen families are divided.
So maybe wedo need to clothe ourselves with the whole armour of God.
During the height of battleagainst the Apartheid government inSouth Africa, Ted Koppel interviewed Bishop Desmond Tutu and asked if thesituation in South Africa was hopeless. “Of course it is hopeless from a humanpoint of view,” he said. But then he smiled and continued on. “But we believein the resurrection, and so we are prisoners of hope.”
That is what we become when weput on the full armor of God, prisoners of hope. In the life, death, andresurrection of Jesus we have been taken captive by a hope that will liberateus from all hopelessness. In putting on God’s armour, we become clothed with ahope that transcends fear, that transcends death, and allows us to be free inthe midst of pain, suffering and uncertainty. In dressing ourselves in thegarments of God, we find a protection that goes beyond the imagination offearful social policy, living with increased security measures and the like.
To put on God’s armor is torecognize that God has turned upside down our notions of power. For in God’skingdom, it is the weak who are strong, the lowly who are exalted. When we puton God’s armour we discover that our strength comes not in the sword but in theWord of God which fills and transforms us, renews us, and sustains us. When weput on the full armour of God, our hearts and are souls and our minds are freedfrom the power of evil and terror that fills our world today.