Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A War for the Soul

I can remember parts of growing up and catching glimpses of the six o’clock news. Whenever the story was about the war that was raging on in Vietnam, they showed the destruction, the people and bodies from the effects of “the conflict.” In fact, it was a little too much at times and any veteran from World War II or the Korean War could get a bad case of “flash backs” depending upon their combat experiences. Some things you just want to forget, hoping that it was all just a bad dream. The reports would keep score like some sporting event, with the number of casualties and killed in action.

Even now the news brings us stories of conflicts from around the world, Syria, Afghanistan, and other numerous skirmishes where someone is forcing their will on others. But the war you don’t hear about, around the world and right here in this country is the one that is breaking up homes, claiming people’s lives with all sorts of human degrading substances killing mind, body and soul one small piece at a time.

There is no actual battle to see on the evening TV news, only the effects of it. Paul writes about it - the battle for this world, against the “the evil one,” taking as many people as he can to spite God. If he can’t win because of Jesus, he’ll take as many as God’s precious humans as he can; using whatever tactics work.

The whole purpose of Emmaus is for training leaders, or solders for this “worldly war”, to train and fight the battles in their own homes and community, through their churches and for the people around them. You can call Kalamazoo Area Emmaus a training camp of sorts. It’s broken up in parts, letting the attendees know that God loves them, showing them that they have gifts they can use to tell others God cares for their lives, giving us hope from the burdens of this world and all its troubles. It also works by showing that we can’t fight this battle alone, learning that by working together we can have fellowship and assist each other when we become tired or at our wit’s end.

We don’t like to talk about war, especially if it affects us. Some have all but surrendered, because of various reasons; too busy, too old, the list goes on. But in the end our churches, communities and the people around us suffer. No hope for the hopeless, to seek relief from the troubles of lack of jobs, financial problems, marital problems, seek relief in the bottom of a bottle, or the effects of a pill not from the local pharmacy.

It may not seem like much, but knowing Christ does care, the creator of the universe, cares what happens in each and everyone’s lives, does give hope; hope beyond this world and in the one to come. That’s what the Walk to Emmaus is about. Just as the lonely walkers from Jerusalem were feeling all their hope had gone down the drain by the death of their Messiah, Jesus met them and shared the story from the scriptures of the hope yet to come. Let’s not let our eyes fall into a slumber to have the enemy claim more victims to steal that hope. It’s never too late to get back up and continue the race to the finish.


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