I watched a documentary this week about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle, and right at the end the narrator said something along the lines of ‘everything has a rational explanation if you look for it.’ Really? Does it? Everything? Or is there more going on? We do not merely battle against flesh and blood, writes Paul in Ephesians 6 v 12. But against an unseen reality. A spiritual struggle. Even though they are officially branded as frauds, the girls in the ghostbusting team find themselves doing battle with another realm. A world of terrifying (and some of these creatures are a little bit nasty) goo-spraying, terrorising monsters and spooks. Here they are testing out their weapons for the battles ahead.
When Paul was writing about doing battle in the spiritual struggle between good and evil, he drew on the kind of warrior he saw every day. A Roman soldier. He used his the oppressor’s armour to illustrate the kind of things that were needed in this battle – salvation in Jesus, righteousness and justice, truth and honesty, a readiness to walk in peace, faith in the Creator God, and in his word, the Bible. Most unusual weapons, and yet Paul likened them to the hardware used by the powerful Roman army. In another letter he said, ‘Faith, hope and love remain, and the greatest of these is love.’ The greatest weapon, the greatest resource we have. The power of love. ‘Remember how Jesus battled,’ the writer of Hebrews wrote, ‘remember how he faced great difficulty but did not give up when things got tough. Remember that so that you will not lose heart…’ in the battles you and I fight for the love, justice and peace of God.
Activist Shane Claiborne wrote in his book The Irresistible Revolution, ‘…today people crave the spectacular. People are drawn to lights and celebrities, to arenas and megachurches. In the desert Jesus was tempted by the spectacular, to do big miraculous things so people might believe… but Jesus has called us to littleness… he compares our revolution to the little mustard seed, to yeast making its way through dough, slowly infecting this dark world with love.’ Our weapons may not be sensational like the ‘ghost-chipper’ or the motion activated ‘proton glove’, they are more subtle, but perhaps no less powerful.