Grace Notes 2021-09-01
There is never a time when we don’t need to be wary of the enemy, namely the devil. We can also speak of the enemy being threefold: the devil, the world, and our sinful self (the flesh). St. Peter warns us, “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1Pe 5:8). This has been true from the first transgression of Adam and Eve, and it has remained true ever since. And it is absolutely true in the times we currently live in!
The Apostle Paul does an excellent job of describing the safeguard for believers to withstand the wiles of the devil in his correspondence to the Church of Ephesus. You can reference this in Ephesians 6:10-20. In the space permitted, I offer the following points.
The battle of cosmic proportions is with the devil and with his accomplices in the world and in the sinful nature of each human being. But it really isn’t so much a battle between God and the devil. The reality is not like the movie Star Wars. The devil is absolutely no match for God! The battle is over human souls. Will we permit the Lord to redeem us along with all his creation, or will we be devoured by eternal damnation.
If we rely on our own strength we are doomed. We, unlike God, are no match for the fallen angels. Instead the believer by faith is able “to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might!”
And as any soldier is well armored who enters battle, if by baptism and faith we put on Christ we will be fully equipped. For Christ is our truth, our righteousness, our fleet footed proclamation of Good News, our shield and refuge, our salvation, and our sword. To be clothed in Christ is to be fully armored! And prayer, that starts with God first speaking to us, is the way we continued to be clothed in him. Pray that you not fall into temptation!
Since You Asked…
Why Is the Pastor Using cruets to both fill the Communion Chalice and then to cleanse it afterward?
You may have noticed the Pastor using a little water from a cruet poured into the chalice, swirled around to mix with the remaining drops of wine, and consumed by the Pastor at the conclusion of administering Holy Communion. This is one way to reverently handle the remaining communion element of the cup. And there is a practical benefit. The longer wine sits in precious metal vessels, the more it begins pitting the surface. By adding wine when needed to the chalice, and then consuming soon after the slight remains with a little water, the metal is preserved.