Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Whose soldiers are we anyway!!!

This past Sunday, St. Paul asked the church to "put on the whole armor of God".
Not a bad idea all in all, especially considering the times in which we live. They are not unlike the times in which the early Christians lived as a matter of fact. So here's a few ways to look at the matter just for something to think about.


Illustration #1 Compare and Contrast

Think about the idealists and the realists in life. Here’s your chance to size them up and pick a side you feel comfortable with.

On the side of the idealists let’s look at these two folks;

  • Gandhi, for instance, said that there are many causes on earth for which he would give his life, but not one for which he would take a life.
  • Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. He also said love your enemies, and that he would give his life as a ransom for many.

These are hard sayings in the scripture. We are told many left Jesus because of what he said and probably what he did as well. However, because of these very things Peter called him “The Holy One of God.”

Now think about these realities

There is a UN Security Council Resolution establishing the means for achieving a cessation of hostilities and perhaps peace in southern Lebanon and northern Israel.

Israel said it achieved its military objectives.

Hizbollah claimed victory.

Almost 1200 men, women, and children, the vast majority of which were civilians, on both sides of the border lie dead in the desert sands of the border between Israel and Lebanon.

Now then, are you an idealist or a realist in heaven as it is in earth?

Illustration #2 The Armor of God

Picture if you will an American soldier or an Israeli Soldier. Now picture those who fight for Hizbollah, and other military and para-military organizations.

They are all equipped with an impressive array of weapons.

Now picture the Armor of God as Paul describes it in his letter to the church in Ephesus. (Ephesians 6:13-17). Shall we review?

Buckle around your waist the belt of truth.
Place over your heart the breastplate of righteousness
On your feet you may wear shoes called the Gospel of Peace.
For a shield you will have Faith with which you can ward off the flaming darts of the evil one.
The helmet of salvation will save your head.
And finally the sword you wield is the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Which weapons will people of faith choose to protect the ones they love? Without being overly simplistic, how shall we weigh these weapons in the scales of Justice and Peace, tempered with the Mercy and Love of God?

Illustration #3 Is Jesus Still Lord?

The name for Caesar in the time of Jesus was “Kyrie” or literally; “Lord”.

The Early Church made it clear that Jesus was "Lord" to that fellowship. And when they sang Kyrie Eleison: “Lord, have mercy” there was a special sense of shared irony. They all distanced themselves from the Empire. To them Jesus was the flesh and blood of heaven on earth to them. He was their bread, and their flesh and blood and the foundation stone of their belief.

There have been many Caesars, Emperors, Kings, Potentates, Sultans, Kaisers, Tsars, Prime Ministers and Presidents.
In a time when we increasingly fuzzy up the line between church and state, who then is our Lord, King or President?

Is it still Jesus? Or is there another?

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