By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE
“The Full Armor of God”
‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ – (Ephesians 6:10-12)
Note to self: On this day November 10 at this writing… I remember one Martin Luther who was born in Germany in 1483. He lived in a time when people thought you’d get to go to heaven by your good works. It turns out that’s not the case. It’s right there in the Bible. God’s grace was sufficient. The faith of Jesus Christ would be enough… the good news of his death on the cross and God’s raising Jesus from the grave stands the test of time. And Luther was quoted to have said… “God doesn’t need your good works… but your neighbor does.” It’s our constant need… a seemingly almost endless battle. He took a stand. Now’s the time to lock arms.
Note to veterans: Growing up… November 11 was always celebrated as my grandmother Irene’s birthday. Being born in 1900 she taught me about “Armistice Day” and was young enough to remember parades with aged Civil War soldiers. She lived through the Great War and divorced an abusive husband in the middle of WW2 and was relieved to have her son safely return home from the USAF in the Korean conflict. She was still alive when the news got out that neighbor Ted Downey was killed in Viet Nam. Her great-grandson serves in the USAF today. So, happy birthday, Gram… and to all the veterans we know… ‘thank you for your service!’ You entered the struggle. Your good work is noted.
Note to America… It’s been quite a week! Maybe that’s an understatement… as the months leaning into the election have been fraught with words that feel worse than sticks and stones being hurled at our bones. 2020 rolls on. Hearts are weary. But there’s good news… “the people have spoken,” so I’ve been told. Have they? Being neither a Democrat or a Republican I can confidently say, “Well, SOME of the people have spoken”… as when the numbers are crunched… it doesn’t take long to see that 74 million folks spoke one way and 70 million spoke something else while over 100 million didn’t even speak at all as the almost 80 million (17 and under) with no legal voice could only watch. And we wait!
How does it all end? I’m not sure it will. Perhaps 2021’s appearance will be the needed clarifier and even then, that is not a guarantee. Division is not always a bad thing. We divide our work to get more done by the people who can… we divide the pie at Thanksgiving so all get an equal share… and we divide the day up into parts to help us be productive, allowing for work, sleep and play. But division… where there is no clarity or unity… is the division with the potential to destroy…a division the result of me wanting my way and someone else wanting their way. And even worse when a third, fourth and even fifth person wants their own way. Faith matters. It does.
How can it all end? St. Paul’s words are helpful…It will require the full armor of God… not just a sturdy helmet or a loaded belt. What good is it for me to have a shiny shield if I’m without a sharp-edged sword? The full armor of God is the key. It will take an effort. The effort is worth it … and through prayer and sacrifice… not insisting on our own way… we will discover again the powerful way of God who desires we stand firm to serve each other.
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four decades. Follow his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Please send your comments and / or questions to [email protected].