An Ambassador in Chains

We’re reading today from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-20 (Thursday Wk. 30) He’s writing as an ambassador of the gospel, but an “ambassador in chains” asking for prayers that “speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel.”

“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power,” Paul writes to the Ephesians and possible to the church at large. But he’s also asking for himself,  for the strength of a warrior, for the “armor of God”. “faith as a shield”, “the helmet of salvation”, “the sword of the Spirit.” Battle language, for sure.

No ordinary battle either. HIs enemies are not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers, world rulers of this present darkness, evil spirits in the heavens. 

I’m not a scripture scholar, but this sounds like the persecution of Nero that startled the Christians in Rome after the fire that burned much of the city down in 64 AD and sent an unknown number of them, including Peter and Paul, to a cruel death. It was an absurd persecution that went beyond what flesh and blood could conjure up. 

I’m adding a video on that persecution, told by way of an old Roman church, the traditional storyteller of Christian history. It’s the church of St. Peter in Chains. 

Church of St. Peter in Chains, Rome

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