Written by Jennifer Brownell
"As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace." - Ephesians 6:15
The author of Ephesians is quite clear as he instructs the new Christian what to wear each morning. His sartorial advice paints a striking picture of the person of faith, outfitted not in the armor of the occupying Romans but in the shining panoply of the Way. The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The shield of faith. The helmet of salvation.
But when it comes to footwear, the author is uncharacteristically vague-ish. Whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace will be the proper shoes for your feet.
Maybe this is because different conflicts call for different approaches to peace, as much as different weather calls for different footwear. Sometimes the path to peace is navigated by activism, sometimes by intentional conversation, sometimes by quiet prayer. As you dress this morning, you may lace up your brogues of boycott, or pull on your mukluks of mediation or slip into your stilettos of stillness. Whatever you put on your feet, be ready, exhorts Ephesians. Be ready to stride forth, proclaiming peace with every step.
Peacemaker, shod us in the shoes we need to travel the road you have placed before us today. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.