10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[b] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,[c] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Paul implores us and the Ephesians to stand in the strength of God’s power. And he gives us the wardrobe for this task as the Whole Armor of God, including “shoes for your feet so that you will be ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”
As part of a discussion of “peace” in the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms we find:
A Hebrew term used for both greeting and farewell with great richness of meaning. It is much more than a lack of war and points to full societal and personal well-being, coupled with righteousness and possible only as a gift from God.
When we join in the chant to “Give peace a chance” we are really asking for God to do a lot with us. To be at peace within ourselves means that we need to focus on God’s word and will so intently that we can find harmony and personal well-being in how we live our life. To wish for societal peace, we must focus again on right relationships and make all our encounters, our hellos and our goodbyes, into opportunities for deepening right relationships with other people.
In the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” there is a line that says, “and let it begin with me.” That’s a good prayer.
Dear God, let me be at peace with myself and You. Let peace radiate from me so that my presence with others creates an opportunity for peace in their company. Grant me Your peace today, I pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, my Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.