We know where hope is hard to find and where God’s light and love seem nonexistent. Thanks be to God that she sees dried bones as opportunities to make us partners in bearing witness to and calling for God’s Spirit to bring renewal.
Looking back over our personal histories, how many of our lives have changed because of those moments when we followed the tug of the Spirit and took the riskier, less convenient, or more truthful route? It’s often in the opposite direction of having it our usual way that was Jesus said comes into full view: “The kingdom of God has come near.”
Another strength of this Reformation legacy is the notion of reform itself. There’s a Latin saying in church circles that expresses this; in English it’s “the church reformed, always reforming according to the Word of God.” We update our beliefs, in other words, with the help of the Spirit.
Because of how overwhelming the world can be right now, it’s so crucial that we re-center ourselves on true, lasting joy. We need a source of strength, we need some grounding to endure this journey. In that light, we turn to what the Apostle Paul, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have to say on the subject.
Maybe these metaphors about armor and evil are about protection, not aggression; about defense, not offense. These symbols of war and violence are inverted to symbols of peace and nonviolence… whatever the “battle” is—whether it’s personal, political, or somewhere in between—the defensive, protective, peaceful “armor” is the same.
I think God, who is one being in three divided parts, is present amid our diversity. God fashions multiplicity, disrupts homogeneity, places different languages among us. And then, after dividing us up, God calls us brothers and sisters, children of God, heirs of God’s future together.