I Peter 4:1-6
"1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, so that the one who has suffered in his body may be done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit."
I strikes me as poignant and ironic that Peter would urge his followers to "Arm yourselves…" when his own history of arming himself and coming out swinging in Jesus’ defense, on that terrible night of his Lord’s betrayal, was met with Jesus’ rebuke. "Put away your sword…..for whoever will live by the sword shall die by the sword." And yet the verb which Peter employs is based on the Greek word for "weapon." But the weapon Peter has in mind is not one we would carry in our hands, but one which we would carry in our hearts. And it is not to be used against other people and their evils, but against our own temptations to do evil, the evil of striking out or of selling out in the face of persecution. What is that weapon, and how do we deploy it? Read Rosie’s story, and the stories of my friends at the Salvation Army Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center, to find out what this weapon is and how we wield it, at Download armyourself.doc, the message which was delivered at Emmanuel Mennonite Church today, on Sunday, November 11.