As we prepare for the festival the last Sunday of the month, it is high time we get ready with our costume. My kids start to get excited around the first of June talking about costumes for Halloween. One always wants to be a princess, and another a Jedi. So they start planning and trying on different pieces until the costume is just right. The costume just isn’t complete until all the pieces are applied. A princess needs a gown, a wand, and a tiara, along with gloves, shoes, makeup and hairstyle. A Jedi needs a robe, a lightsaber, the right shoes, and a determined attitude. It started to make me wonder what kind of costume a Christian should wear. What would be a distinctive costume for a Christian?
So much of what makes us different are concepts and ideas. We can’t exactly “wear” our theology or ethics on our sleeves. But after looking at those short lists above, maybe you were reminded of something. There is a list in the Bible similar to the costumes above, with sword, helmet, breastplate, sandals, shield and belt. These are the garb and armaments of a Roman soldier of Paul’s time, and we find this list in his letter to the Church of Ephesus. It is a letter written while Paul is in prison, guarded by a soldier at all times. But he takes occasion to immortalize the costume of the soldier into a Christian’s suit of armor.
When we look at Ephesians 6:14-18, we see “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (ESV)
I want to encourage you to take up the “costume” of the Christian, so that you can stand up to the powers of darkness that threaten every one of us.