Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. –Ephesians 6:10-17
When I read this scripture the vision of the boy David getting ready to face Goliath flashes through my mind. The adult armor with which he was outfitted was so heavy he could barely move much less fight. Instead, he chose to put his faith in God and left the heavy armor laying on the ground. Ephesians may be trying to tell us not only to put on the armor of God, but to shed the heavy baggage we carry that limits our ability to serve God fully.
One of those heavy bags is the need to feel we are better than others to feel our own worth. This attitude simply says we do not feel good about ourselves. To make a difference in the world, one must have the confidence of competence, trusting when God calls us to a task, God will also enable our work. We are also called to celebrate the good in all that God created and in every way possible undergird each person’s confidence. There is no place in a world of beings created by God for racism, sexism, or any of the other isms that proclaim I am better than you are.
Freed from our heavy burden of self-doubt, we can take on the whole armor of God: truth, righteousness, the proclamation of peace, faith, and finally salvation. When all of us do this we indeed, as Jesus said, can conquer the world. (John 16:33)
Prayer: Lord, help me lay my burden down as I pick up the tools of your service to work toward peace and justice throughout the world. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.