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Thereís a proverb which says, "Itís better to light a candle than curse the darkness".

I want to reflect upon a phrase of Paulís in that reading from Romans: the armour of light.  Armour makes me think of metal suits from the medieval period, of black and red and white knights on horseback.  However, armour is still around, but more sophisticated than metal suits.  Sometimes we see the armed forces wearing various kinds of armour, but most often we see the police with armour, such as the now routine stab vests, and riot protection gear.

Armour, whatever, form it takes, is a symbol of protection in combat and usually makes the wearer less visible and vulnerable.  We cannot see the person inside a traditional suit of armour; combat clothes are designed to make the wearer blend into the landscape; riot gear protects the most vulnerable parts of our body against attack.  By definition Paulís armour of light, though, makes the wearer more visible.

So, what does the armour of light mean, and how can light be armour?  How can the armour of light protect and defend us, even as it makes us more vulnerable?

Godís armour of light can protect us from attitudes and actions outside of ourselves that erode kingdom values.  Much goes on the world today that is in direct opposition to the purposes of God and the values of his kingdom.  Godís armour of light is what we have to protect us and keep us in that battle.  Itís not like ordinary armour, though, because as well as protecting us, it shines out the good light of God into the world.

As well as protecting us from things outside us against the kingdom, the armour of light can also protect us from our own inner darkness and fears.  All of us know that there are things we are afraid of, or that we dislike, within ourselves.  The armour of light shines in such a way as to protect us from them.

The armour of light is such that it can enable us to face both inner and outer darkness, and give us the courage and strength to respond appropriately.

In Genesis it is written:
Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good

Christ be our Light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church
Gathered today

In Johnís gospel it says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Christ be our Light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church
Gathered today

In the letter to the Romans it says:
Salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.  Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.

Christ be our Light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church
Gathered today

Your word, O Lord, is a light

Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us, let not my doubts nor my darkness


Michael Hopkins
Farnham United Reformed Church
http://www.sermoncentral.com/

 

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