"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does" 2 Corinthians 10:3 NIV
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. As the news began to break, images of warfare began to appear on our TV screens, computers, and phones. Our hearts went out to the Ukrainian people as bombs were dropped on major cities. The target for those weapons included civilian locations like apartment buildings and shopping centers. Each day brought more devastating images of urban warfare.
On Sunday, March 6, ten days after the war began, a surprising image appeared in my news feed. It was not a typical image you would associate with war. It was the image of an outdoor wedding on the battlefield.
The wedding was a typical wedding ceremony in many ways. It had a military chaplain performing the ceremony, a musician, a wedding cake, a bouquet, wedding rings, a groom, and a bride with a veil. The only difference, everyone wore camouflage. The bride and groom had become civilian volunteers in the Ukrainian Army to stay and defend their city of Kyiv.
As I watched the video and saw the images of the bride in camo, I began to think about our relationship with Christ. The Bible teaches us the church is considered the bride and Christ is the groom. The Bible also teaches us that we are engaged in a spiritual battle. When we become a Christian, we become a soldier.
The battle we wage is not against flesh and blood. Paul uses battlefield language to teach us the difference. The above verse is translated in the NLT: “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.” The following verse states: “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” NLT
The battlefield we fight on is a spiritual battlefield. We fight for the hearts, minds, and souls of people, as well as our own. Yes, we are a bride, but we are also a soldier. Let us be known as a church that knows how to engage in spiritual warfare as the battle rages all around us for our families and churches.
I love you and it is a privilege to be your pastor.