I have a confession. After praying for worship in my last post, I managed to oversleep this morning. Personally, I didn’t want to miss the first Sunday of Advent, especially after my prayers last night, so I bolted out of bed, got dressed, and went to church. I didn’t worry about getting the kids ready; they stayed home with Dad. When I came home, I was amused to find my husband and my daughter engaged in a Shopkins battle. (If you don’t know what Shopkins are, they are tiny little toys that look like groceries with faces. They are cute.) My husband’s army of Shopkins was lined up on the kitchen table and my daughters was on the piano bench.
It was just a reminder to me that as humans, we are drawn to battle. I wonder if the movie “The War Room” would have had the same draw if it were called “The Prayer Closet.”?
The guest preacher today talked about Peter and said that Peter was everything that’s right about Christians and everything that’s wrong about us rolled up in one. I thought about when the soldier came to get Jesus and Peter cut off his ear to protect Jesus. Then Jesus healed the soldier. I found myself wondering: What does it mean to go to battle for someone who loves our human foes as much as he loves us?
First, it means that we must remember who the real enemy: the thief who would come to steal and destroy. Second, it means that we must go into battle with the spirit of Advent. Our preacher told us today that Advent is the time to remember love wins, peace reigns, and God is king.
There’s no better way to go battle with our real foe than with the joy, the love of Jesus, and the peace that passes understanding deep in our heart. And if the devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack!!!
I picked out the verse: But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. Then I discovered that I already made this page all about peace. I decided to live with this irony: We battle the devil by being at peace with ourselves and one another.
God, I pray that as Christians we can take our very human tendency to turn small things into battles and apply the same energy to living lives of peace, love, and joy. Make it our first instinct at times of conflict to turn to prayer. And may the devil go sit on a tack!!! Amen!