27 November 2016
The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In the days to come
the mountain of the Temple of the Lord
shall tower above the mountains
and be lifted higher than the hills.
All the nations will stream to it,
peoples without number will come to it; and they will say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob
that he may teach us his ways
so that we may walk in his paths;
since the Law will go out from Zion,
and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’
He will wield authority over the nations
and adjudicate between many peoples;
these will hammer their swords into ploughshares,
their spears into sickles.
Nation will not lift sword against nation,
there will be no more training for war.
O House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
You know ‘the time’ has come: you must wake up now: our salvation is even nearer than it was when we were converted. The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon – let us give up all the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark; let us arm ourselves and appear in the light. Let us live decently as people do in the daytime: no drunken orgies, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.
‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
I have a confession to make — I’m not a big fashion person. I’m totally clueless about the latest fashion trends, and my wardrobe contains pieces that are at least a decade old. I’d like to think that these pieces are ‘classics’ in that I can still wear them and not look like I’m from another era!
On the off chance though, I do sometimes catch runway shows when they are on TV. While some of the fashion itself is too avant garde for me, I do like watching how the show comes together, the build-up to runway day, and all the behind-the-scenes snippets. So much work is put into the seasonal wear, yet one wonders how long the trend for that piece will last.
The armour of Christ does not go out of season. It is not something that you would be ‘seen dead in’; quite the opposite — it keeps us alive. It is the Armour of God that is described in Ephesians 6:10-17, a beautiful description of the pieces that come together to make the best piece of ‘clothing’ against harm: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness of the gospel of peace on your feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Clothing ourselves in the full Armour of God will ensure that we will be able to stand firm with Jesus, and stand our ground against any evil schemes that may thwart us.
Clothing ourselves in Jesus also means that we take on the characteristics of Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” We are the elect of God the moment we accepted Christ as our beloved Saviour. We died to our old selves and, being born again in Christ, we put on our new selves, one that is borne out of love, and made of love. For with love, comes compassion and kindness, gentleness and generosity of spirit.
The Armour of God is designed to protect us from the devil’s schemes; love reinforces it. As we look forward to ‘don our gay apparel’ for Christmas, let us choose to wear a ‘classic’ that will never go out of style.
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Father Almighty, as we greet the start of Advent, let us ready ourselves in the right apparel. This season of Advent is of love, to ready ourselves to receive the Son of Man You so willingly gave to us. Let us then clothe ourselves in love, in Christ Jesus, ready to receive You.
Thanksgiving: Father Almighty, we give you thanks and praise for making available the armour to protect us. We pray that we will wear it well, and wear it often.