In scripture you tell us to put on your armor, God,

but we have known too much of war.

What if, then, we paired your belt of truth

with a cozy cardigan, opening our soft fronts to your image in us and in others?

What if we put on comfy shoes that automatically transported us to the foot of your altar,

ready to worship?

What if instead of a shield to protect ourselves from the unknown,

we took water and food and diapers and feminine hygiene supplies to those experiencing homelessness?

What if we donned a colorful hat that let people know that we are allies,

appreciative of the full range of God’s creative genius?

What if we toted a bullhorn rather than a sword and shared it generously with those whose voices have too long been ignored?

Evil is out there,

and it’s wily.

So may we pray in the Spirit at all times.

May we keep alert.

May we proclaim the gospel boldly in deed and in word.

And may we do all these things in ways that bring about your peace.

Amen.


Laura Stephens-Reed is a clergy and congregational coach working with ministers and churches across the ecumenical spectrum. Having served in a variety of pastoral roles and denominations, she is primarily affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Based in northwest Alabama (United States), Laura is married to a United Methodist pastor, and they have a eight-year-old son. She blogs weekly at laurastephensreed.com.


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