Military metaphors for the Christian life, particularly in hymns, are often regarded as outmoded in Christian circles. Yet with the news of the terrible events in Afghanistan this week, such metaphors are perhaps more relevant than we would care to acknowledge. In his letter to the early church in Ephesus, written around AD 60, St Paul speaks of the cosmic battle between good and evil. However we understand this, without doubt there is evil in the world. In response, as Christians we are invited to ‘clothe’ ourselves in Christ. Paul enjoins us to do this by putting on the whole armour of God to protect us against all that is evil.
‘Clothing’ ourselves in Christ might seem an odd concept. Yet it should be as familiar as putting on a favourite jumper or a winter coat. It should be something we do daily as a matter of choice, remembering that cosmic evil has been decisively transformed in and through the cross of Christ. For St Paul ‘clothing’ ourselves in Christ means being people who speak and act truthfully. We are to be righteous, people who stand up for all that is good and true as revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We are to proclaim the Gospel whilst remaining rooted in prayer and the study of the scriptures. We are to travel together, praying for one another on our journey of faith.
As you pray for the world, for individuals and for yourself, you may like to make the following prayers your own:
Goodness is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death;
victory is ours through God who loves us. Amen. (Desmond Tutu)
All our difficulties, we send to the cross of Jesus.
All the devil’s works, we send to the cross of Jesus.
All our hopes, we set on the risen Christ. Amen. (Common Worship)
Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector