I really should have begun with this “disclaimer” in each of the sermons today but I didn’t so here it is now. I am extremely uncomfortable with how the church has made use of militaristic imagery and symbolism over the ages and especially over my life time. I am well aware of the biblical warrant for such images and symbols but they have been consistently misused and turned into license for all sorts of ungodly and destructive behaviour. That being said, it was a bit of a job for me to preach from Ephesians 6 on the armour of God. But I did it.
Knox Presbyterian Hey! We get armour!
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Hey! We have armour!One of the things I was trying to do today was to get past the image / metaphor / symbol of the Roman soldier and his armour and get into what Paul was saying that connects with us today.
First and foremost, I have come to the conclusion that this armour passage is begins and ends with what is absolutely vital; it begins with truth (the belt of) and ends with salvation (the helmet of) which is intimately connected with Scripture which takes us back to truth. I realize I am not making this point as clearly as I would like but it seems to me that we begin with truth – about God, sin, us – and that leads us inexorably to salvation, a relationship with God through Jesus that is fundamentally empowered by the Holy Spirit.
So, where does this leave us, or as one of my homiletics professors used to say annoyingly, “So what?” The so what is that we can still use this image of St. Paul’s. We can use it to remind us that everything for the Christian begins with truth.
Date: August 26, 2012
Liturgical Sunday: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
RCL Scripture: Psalm 84; 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69
Sermon Title: Hey! We get armour!
PS As always if you want downloadable versions of these sermons click here.
Photo Credit: Armour by stuant63