Shalom, my Sisters and Brothers!
This photo is of one of my favourite beaches on Iona – Traigh Ban nam Manach – the White Strand of the Monks). It’s at the far north of the island, so it’s quiet and peaceful. The sand is like talcum powder, and the water is usually crystal clear.
But these sands and waters hide a brutal past. It was here that a number of monks were slaughtered by Viking raiders on Christmas day in the year 986.
Every time I’ve been to this beach, I’ve thought about this – how terrifying it must have been for the monks seeing the Viking ships cut across the water, knowing that this was their last day on earth.
For some reason, this beach popped into my head this morning during my prayers. But the mental image I had was of us as the Vikings – Warriors, moving in the ship of the Church, under the protection of our heavenly Abba, guided by our King Jesus, and blown along by the wind of the Spirit!
I’ve said this before, and I will keep on saying it. We, as the Church, aren’t called to sit comfortably in a Sunday service every week. We’re called to be Warriors! Just as the Vikings left the comforts of their homes and countries in order to go on raids, so must we be willing to leave our comforts in order to attack Satan and his forces of darkness!
Just as the monks on Iona were terrified at the sight of the Viking ship, so too should the demons tremble at the sight of the ship of the Church! When they see this mighty ship slicing through the waters of life, they should be petrified, because they know that within that ship are brave, fearless Warriors who are filled with the Spirit! Warriors who are on a Divine mission to fight for King and kingdom!
This was the same spirit that moved men like Columba and Patrick to take to the open waters, and enter foreign hostile lands in order to spread the Gospel.
And now is the time that we regain that spirit! For too long the Church has been sitting lazily by while the forces of darkness have advanced over this earth. But I believe God is sounding the trumpet, and calling for His Church to wake up! I believe that mighty prayer warriors are being raised up, who will step up to the battle lines and shoot their prayers like fire to heaven!
Now is the time for Satan and his demons to tremble, for the Warriors of God are preparing for battle!
May the God of heaven and earth empower you to put on the full armour of God, and may His Spirit fill you so that you may stand firm against the enemy! Amen.