WINNING THE WAR
[The homily delivered at the 2010 Father/Son Breakfast]
There is a war going on right now. No, I’m not talking about the conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s a war bigger than WWII, and the fighting has gone on for thousands of years. St. Paul, one of the great warriors in this war, wrote, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over the present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12) The war of which we speak is the war between God and Satan, between good and evil, light and darkness.
“How to fight such an enemy?” that is the question. We may learn much from the life of David in the Old Testament. We are especially thinking of David’s fight with the giant, Goliath. How did David win that fight?
First, David’s heart was right with God. King Saul’s heart was not right with God, so God rejected him from being king and sent the prophet Samuel to the home of Jesse with instructions to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel. When the first son came in Samuel thought that he was surely the one selected as the new king because he looked the part. However, God said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) God looks into our hearts. What does He see? God will only give us victory if our hearts are right with Him.
David was also anointed by God. When David, the youngest son, was brought before Samuel, God said to Samuel, “‘Arise, anoint him, for this is he.’ Then, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (I Sam. 16:12, 13) All true believers in Jesus Christ have been anointed by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul reminded the Corinthians of this fact saying, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” (I Cor. 6:19) As Christians, we have the power of Almighty God within ourselves at all times.
It was also necessary that David be prepared for the fight with Goliath. When David volunteered to fight the giant, King Saul was unsure of his abilities. He said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” (I Sam. 17:33) But, all along, God had been preparing David for this moment. David responded, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he rose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them for he has defied the armies of the living God.” (I Sam. 17:34-36) God is always preparing us for future victory. The giants we face today will prepare us for those coming tomorrow.
When going into battle David chose the right strategy and weapons to face the giant. At first King Saul dressed David with his own heavy armor and sword. But, David was not accustomed to such equipment and was unable to move freely. So, he laid aside Saul’s armor and picked up his shepherd’s sling and five smooth stones. David was not being naïve, but very wise. He knew that he must strike his enemy quickly and from a distance. The sling was the perfect weapon for such a fight. We also need to be properly equipped for our fight with Satan and evil. St. Paul told us what we need for the battles we must face in this life. The apostle wrote, “Therefore take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….” (Eph. 6:13-17) With this equipment we can win every battle against sin and Satan. But it is up to us to “Put on the whole armor of God.”
Finally, David trusted the Lord. When David approached Goliath he said, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all the assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand.” (I Sam. 17:45-47) This is the most basic reason for David’s victory over Goliath. Someone once wrote, “He did not compare himself to Goliath, but he compared Goliath to Jehovah.” We sometimes lose because we forget this fundamental point.
Yes, we are in the biggest war in history. To win, we need to take the advice of St. Paul and follow the example of David.
By Rev. F. M. Levi
The Father/Son Breakfast was held in the Parish Hall on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Thank you to the ladies of the Woman’s Guild for sponsoring this event. The food was delicious!
RUMMAGE & BAKE SALE
The Rummage Sale will be Saturdays, June 12th & June 19th , 2010 with a Bake Sale on the 12th. You may leave items for the sale starting Sunday, May 30th inside the entrance ramp door. Please no large furniture nor large appliances. Thank you!
Saturday, June 5, 2010 starting at 9:00 a.m.
2010 VBS: Cruisin’ the Amazing Amazon,
“A Jungle Journey to Discover Jesus”
July 5th to the 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Friday with lunch served and practice for the final program. The Closing Program will be Friday, July 9th, at 7:00 p.m. Please see Patty Levi, VBS Director, for Registration cards.
IN LOVING MEMORY
Carl V. Spencer, age 90, was taken home to be with the Lord May 6, 2010. Carl was a very active member at St. Andrew’s and was on the Vestry at the time of his death. He knew the importance of being in church every Sunday, and he seldom missed until he got ill and was unable to come. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elaine, four sons, and three granddaughters. Our prayers are with his family. Carl will be greatly missed. His favorite hymns were: “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Amazing Grace”, and “How Great Thou Art”. Carl is now in heaven singing them with His precious Lord and Savior!
MISSION WORKER OF THE MONTH
The Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote, Jr. is President of the Reformed Episcopal Church’s Board of Foreign Missions. As such, we feel he needs our prayers as he leads this important outreach. The Board of Foreign Missions has been promoting mission endeavors for the Reformed Episcopal Church for over 120 years. Missionaries are currently supported in Brazil and Germany. The goal of the BFM is to equip indigenous people to carry out the Great Commission. In addition, the Board of Foreign Missions seeks to partner with other mission endeavors throughout the Anglican world, and is currently in alliance with ministries that serve Africa and the Middle East.
Jun. 3 - Maddie Levi
Jun. 8 - Mildred Buescher
Jun. 9 - Patty Levi
Jun. 15 - William Frank Garrison
Jun. 15 - Audrey Garrison
Jun. 16 - River Christenson
Jun. 17 - David Sellers
Jun. 18 - Jackie Robertson
Jun. 18 - Paul Sellers
June 21 - Anita Rago
June 22 - Rev. Bob Novak
Jun. 23 - Brian Stultz
Jun. 30 - Frank Levi, Jr.
Somebody cares and always will,
The world forgets but God loves you still,
You cannot go beyond His love
No matter what you’re guilty of –
For God forgives until the end,
He is your faithful, loyal friend,
And though you try to hide your face
There is no shelter any place.
That can escape His watchful eye,
For on the earth and in the sky,
He’s ever present and always there
To take you in His tender care.
And bind the wounds and mend the breaks
When all the world around forsakes…
Somebody cares and loves you still
And God is the Someone who always will.