Of all the phrases that one might to chose to preach from this week, and there are many, the first one to grab my attention is from the collect “that he might destroy the works of the devil … .” such thinking always catches me off guard mostly because I strongly believe the devil, or Satan, or by many other less threatening names, is defeated, that there is nothing said being can do, unless of course we give away what is ours by grace through faith.
Another nit pick I have with “devil” language is our tendency to merge together a whole host of biblical characters into one, endow the character with powers never mentioned in scripture. Much of this is left over middle ages thinking. You’d think we’d know better, but I reckon the influence of winged evil super power enemies sells a lot of tickets, and shapes a lot of thinking. I also believe we struggle with turning metaphors into “empirical accounts.”
With my rant out of the way, there is much more to be gleaned from phrases like: “heirs of eternal life.”, “the latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former…”, being called so “that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”, and “… for to him all of them are alive.”
If we glean all there is to glean here about grace, faith, salvation and trust, then beyond being aware of the devil’s patience for a opportune moment, then we are … well in the presence of the splendor of God.