“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:15
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians ends in the most stirring fashion: “Put on the whole armor of God.” Paul goes on then to detail that spiritual armor. It includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
But when it comes to shoes Paul says an odd thing: “Pick whatever works, whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.”
Everything else is pretty prescribed, but when it comes to shoes you get to choose.
Well, if you’ve ever had shoes that were too small or too big—or no shoes at all on stony ground—you can see Paul’s point. It would be difficult to proclaim peace with shoes that don’t fit, that aren’t right for the job.
Myself, I think I’d opt for some really good running shoes. Because proclaiming the gospel of peace is so urgent. This is not a message for big, heavy clod hoppers or stacked up, tipsy high heels.
To bring this message—the gospel of peace, the news of God’s grace for sinners—you want to be able to move, to jump, to run, to get on down the road, to carry the message far and wide. You want to be light on your feet and ready to run.
Or maybe you’ll choose something different? Maybe you’ll put on your dancing shoes or your shouting shoes? Choose the shoes — and whatever else — that help you to proclaim the good news of the gospel of peace and to be “strong in the Lord” in this new year.
Give us, Holy One, the fitting shoe for your great journey. Amen.
Stillspeaking Small Group Discussion
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. He is the author of many books, including What’s Theology Got to Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.