Reflection: The Armor of God
By Jane Lee Wolfe
There’s a wonderful passage in the sixth chapter of the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians that goes on about “putting on the whole armor of God.” We’re supposed to do this in order to be strong in the lord and [strong in] the strength of his power. We get the picture.
But in case we don’t get the picture, Paul gets really into it. We need to be all decked out and duded up in order to prevail in our struggle against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers of darkness and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
This requires some major wardrobe and accessory additions if we don’t already have them: The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit.
It also requires action: Pray in the Spirit at all times and in every prayer, keep alert, and always persevere in supplication for all.
There is one thing that Paul leaves open for individual decision making: Shoes!
But guess what? There is one thing that Paul leaves open for individual decision making: Shoes! “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”
Do we realize how important this option is? Wear whatever works for peace. Change your shoes if you want. Don’t criticize other people’s shoes. If the shoes help you get peace out in the world, BE peace out in the world, wear them. Sometimes you might need puddle boots, sometimes steel toes, sometime Jimmy Choo’s, sometimes flip flops, sometimes running shoes, sometimes slippers, sometimes barefoot. On and on. Whatever makes for peace, wherever you are – put them on!
What this helps with, too, is not being overly judgmental about the peace builders standing beside you. What are they wearing for shoes? Could be they’ve come in from a different part of the world, a different tradition, a different understanding of the gospel of peace. Their shoes are different from yours, but their goal is the same, being peace in the world, bringing peace into the world. Enjoy the company of difference as you proclaim the gospel of peace. You may all have standard issue truth, righteousness, faith, salvation and swords, or these could be different designs too; but you all have shoes, chosen by you, ready to walk into the world and live the peace we all long for and rejoice in so much!
Glory hallelujah! God bless the feet of those who walk in the peace of God, and God bless the shoes that brought those feet into our presence, into the pace we love so much.