The Salvation Army is structured like a military force, with similar terminology. We have appointments and ranks and soldiers and officers. The word ‘army’ in our name reminds us of God’s call to Christians to battle sin in the world, but it also reminds us of other principles of warfare, such as the need to make sacrifices that serve a greater purpose.
As Major David Noakes reminds us in his article on ‘the compelling messages of Gallipoli’, when soldiers of any nation go to war, they must be willing to pay the ultimate price. Just as when Jesus went to war for us—to battle the forces of evil in the world that were keeping us separated from the God who loves us—this required Jesus to sacrifice his life.
From time to time, I’ve had to help businesses prepare to give presentations to Salvation Army leadership. One of the things I’ve often had to emphasise is that our Salvation Army church congregations, which are called ‘corps’ (in the military sense of a group dedicated to a particular task), are pronounced ‘core’ and not ‘corpse’. People usually laugh when they’re told this, realising they would have accidentally implied to their listeners that our churches are dead people!
As we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it might be a good idea for us Salvationists to remind ourselves that we serve a conquering, risen Saviour who is still in the business of bringing new spiritual life to the dead and dying. The purpose of our Salvation Army corps is to share the love and life of Jesus. Because Jesus is alive today, God is still at work in our world.
Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us to be strong in the Lord and stand in his power, putting on God’s ‘full armour’ so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Our Firezone feature by Hayden Shearman is a great reminder that the same power that brought Jesus back to life is at work in us today. That may sound far fetched, but I’ve seen too much evidence of God’s work in and through people to doubt that truth for a moment.
Happy Easter. Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!
1 Peter 1:3-4 The Message
‘Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!’
1 Pita 1:3
‘Kia whakapaingia te Atua, te Matua o to tatou Ariki, o ihu Karaiti, nana nei, na tana mahi tohu e nui nei, tatou i whanau hou ai ki te tumanako ora, i a ihu Karaiti ka ara ake nei i te hunga mate …’
Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen. Mother Teresa
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