The Armor of Light
First Midweek In Advent
December 5, 2018
The Armor of Light
Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
It is written: The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Thus far the text.
Let us pray: Creator Father, whose only-begotten Son is the armor of Light, the day of faith in Jesus is at hand therefore grant us to believe in Jesus who is coming to protect us against the night; in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Holy Scriptures teach us that Christ is coming to us. Christ the Savior comes into this dark world not in bright sunlight at high noon but in the dark of night. The Christ comes conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Christ comes born of the Virgin Mary. The Christ comes when all the world is asleep.
It is natural to sleep at night.
It is also natural to do works of darkness at night.
I remember as a teenager working on my blessed and sainted mother for a curfew later than 12 o’clock on the weekends. She always had the same response - nothing good ever happens after midnight. So I was home by midnight.
This text is not given to teach us something new that we haven’t heard in the Gospels. Rather, the Lord uses this text to exhort you who believe in Jesus to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. This is why it is good to be reminded of the good things you learned in your youth because they are still good today.
For all the works of darkness can be lumped into one heading - unbelief.
Notice how our Lord describes works of light as armor against the darkness.
As we prepare to receive our coming Lord on Christmas Day, it is good to be reminded to put on Christ, that is put on the armor of Light who protects you from the darkness, the wickedness, the evil of those three enemies - Satan, the world, and your own sinful flesh; making you bold to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Why does the Lord describe the works of Light as armor? He is reminding you that a Godly life is maintained at the cost of conflicts, pain, danger, and labor. Satan, the world, and your own sinful flesh strive against you remaining in the Gospel of Jesus.
So the Lord reminds you to keep on the armor of Light. Continue looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of the Christian faith.
And put it on you do. You trust Jesus to perfect your conflicted faith. You welcome Jesus to comfort your pain and protect you from danger. You believe Jesus labored all the way to death on the cross to bring you holy and righteous to God our Father.
So cast off your unbelief and put on Jesus the armor of Light which will make you holy and also, slowly, to make you bold to treat your neighbor the way you wish to be treated.
Jumping to the Old Testament, do you remember how Abraham, the father of ancient Israel, put on this armor? Abraham did not labor in the Law of Moses (the Ten Commandments) because the Law of Moses first came 430 years after Abraham. Rather, Abraham believed the promise of God, and God counted Abraham’s faith in the coming Christ - as righteousness. That is Abraham put on the armor of Light by faith in the coming Jesus.
Abraham’s faith is the same faith you now have. For faith was not discarded with the coming of Jesus, but just the opposite, faith is established because of the work of Jesus. His life and death. His resurrection and ascension.
Abraham only knew the promise - that Jesus would come and Abraham believed the promise was for him.
You know the promise - but you also know Jesus has fulfilled the promise at His first coming.
So Abraham was wide awake in the Gospel of Jesus and protected with the armor of Light just like we are, but under different conditions.
The Scriptures taught the coming of Christ even though He was already with the fathers. However, He was not publicly proclaimed to all mankind until after His resurrection from the dead.
Thank be to God our Father- not only for the Christmas tree lights but for the armor of Light who is Jesus Christ His only-begotten Son who comes to us this evening in His gracious and powerful Word.
This Advent season, remember this, believe in Jesus Christ and in the armor of His Light you will grow bold in treating others as you would have them treat you; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.