Discover more from Poiema
There Be Dragons
“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen (Romans 16:20).”
Today is Michaelmas. This feast day reminds us that although “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” as such, we certainly do wrestle.
Spiritual warfare is not an option; heeding St. Paul’s admonition to “war a good warfare” is a command. This is not contrary to peace, it is necessary for it.
Since peace is the ideal, the quintessential characteristic of the eschaton, we should seek it the way that God in Christ sought it. His was a multifaceted program and we should not expect ours to be any more streamlined than his. We pursue peace by dying and rising again.
By falling seven times and getting up eight, by vanquishing the powers of darkness, by trampling the serpent underfoot, by tearing down strongholds and taking thoughts captive, by making a mockery of principalities and powers; putting them to an open shame.
By turning the other cheek, and walking another mile, by giving our t-shirt when only our coat was requested, by speaking truth to power, by saying grace at meals, by singing imprecatory psalms, by singing babies to sleep, by weeping and dancing, by mourning and laughing.
By building and battling, by fasting and feasting, by giving and receiving, by war and relief, by life and by death and everything in between. In short, it's a cumulative process. Peace comes in pieces.
It’s precisely because peace is ideal that we must fight to obtain it. Our spears are not yet pruning hooks and our swords are not yet plowshares. The hard part about living this side of the consummation is our impatience. We are patient as long as we are not forced to wait.
We are still the Church Militant awaiting our ultimate triumph, but we want to experience glory now.
Let patience have her perfect work. In this interim between two eternities it is no contradiction to pray, "Lord, teach my hands to war so that we may learn war no more."
On Michaelmas we remember that Evil is real, potent, and has a proper name. But we also remember that Evil has been decisively overthrown. There is peace in heaven. And soon, as in heaven, so on earth. “Thanks be to God who always giveth the victory.”