Posted by: Pauline | August 19, 2018

Scriptures for Sunday August 26

Psalm 84

While the translations we commonly use refer to God’s dwelling place as “lovely,” the Hebrew word is generally translated “beloved.” There is certainly beauty in the place of worship, but it is lovely to the worshiper primarily because of the presence of the God who is worshiped and loved. Over and over the psalmist shows intense love for God and for God’s dwelling place. It is the place longed for when on the journey, and that gives delight to the one who has entered to worship. Even to wait in the doorway is far better than to live elsewhere in luxury.

Ephesians 6:10-20

Many people today are uncomfortable with the martial imagery in this passage, remembering how over the centuries people have committed violence while claiming the name of Christ. Some have reacted to those wrongs of the past by making faith a purely private matter, just between an individual and God. But Paul reminds us that there is a cosmic struggle between good and evil, and while we may be confident of God’s ultimate victory, we do not get to sit back as spectators but are in the thick of the battle.

Lest we fall back into thinking we fight against those who believe differently, Paul reminds us that our enemies are not other people. Our armor is no threat to them unless they are enemies of truth, righteousness, faith, and peace. And since we still might try to fight the wrong enemy or in the wrong way, he also reminds us to keep praying all the time.

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