Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; … put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:11-14)
I have watched in horror as war has broken out again and been subsumed in grief and cynicism about the state of the world. This time Ukraine. Last time Iraq and Afghanistan.
These things are rightly called by Paul, the apostle, the "works of darkness." It is so easy to destroy things and so much work to build them up. But we must build them up because the alternative is too hard to fathom.
I was sitting in silent meditation and remembered this quote from Romans. What is the "Armor of Light?" And why is Paul using a war metaphor to bring the peace of Christ?
I've heard it said that in order to have power over those things that oppress us we must make the slur or the insult our own. Black people have taken ownership of the "N" word. The LGBTQ community took ownership of the word "faggot." Maybe it is time the peace loving people take ownership of the language of war and do what Paul instructed us to do?
When an article of clothing becomes too tattered, too small, or no longer fits we discard it. The works of darkness are ignorance. And we have labored under the illusion that peace can come from war. That it is only through destruction that we can find peace. That peace requires the utter elimination of something or someone.
Light dispels darkness. Discernment dispels ignorance. Unknowing and expectant waiting offers new ways of thinking and being. We can't find new solutions to old problems with what we already know "to be the truth." There are only dead ends on that route.
To clothe ourselves with the armor of light is, I think, to be open to the working of God in our lives in unexpected ways. It might just be saying out loud "we don't know what to do here, but it can't be what we've always done in the past."
For Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and back into the dark and the dank of human history we have tried violence and failed. For inside every "victory" lies the seed of more violence. There are ways of peaceful coexistence. Nature finds ways of doing it. It is possible.
My inquiry for today is about the sources of ignorance:
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