Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHRISTIAN PRESENCE IN THE NATION BUILDING
“...Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”St. Paul uses the imperial language to address a systemic confrontation that all of us face. We constantly battle against “the wiles of the devil.”(Ephesians 6:11) The wiles of the devil is symbolized through rulers and
authorities who centralize power and forcefully dictate moral and social beliefs through their own caveat analogous to the Roman Empire’s declaration and mandate that “Caesar is Lord” as well as through battles of the soul wherein we are confronted between good and evil. The reality of being human is that we are confronted by two choices: good and evil. It is in this context that we can be assured that God equips us with the power to not only withstand evil but to perpetual goodness. God provides us with tools to truly become the “light of the world.”
“Pray in the Spirit”
The first step in overcoming evil with good is to “pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:18) In praying in the Spirit, we recognize another central element in the Christian faith - “for the one (Spirit) who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) As adopted heirs to the Kingdom of God and those who are sealed with the “seal of the Holy Spirit” (through our Baptism and Chrismation) we know that the Spirit of God is within us and we have the potential to be Christ like. Prayer is the only way in which we can sustain the relationship to God as His children as well as affirm our pledge to live in the will of God.
“Take up the armor”
The second step in overcoming evil with good is to “take up the whole armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:13) Taking up the whole armor of God enables us to “stand firm and withstand evil.” The armor of God consists of Truth, Righteousness, the proclamation of Peace, Faith, Recognition of the Spirit within us, Acknowledgement of Salvation, and the Word of God. In other words, taking up the armor of God entails a commitment to follow in the path of the Lord Jesus (John 14:6) and negating the path of moral enticements that are antithetical to the message of moral and ethical goodness. While empires of the world are established through war, we are called to establish the Kingdom of God through peace.
Our Christian vocation is to spread the Gospel amidst a world that is mired in darkness. In achieving this end, God promises to equip us through prayer and by following the path of the Lord of life.
Prayer: Enables us to recognize your Spirit and take up our armor to spread the good news. Amen.
Rev. Manoj Zachariah, New Jersey