By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
On Sunday we read Ephesians 6:10-20, which is a passage that includes “the whole armor of God." Our Executive Presbyter, Chaz Ruark, preached on the armor, and how it equips us to live our lives as the people of God.
Some of you may know this, some may not, but I’m going to reveal this anyway: I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons. A tabletop role-playing game that started in the 1970s and has survived in basements for the intervening decades. I now play a weekly game with some of my family members using the wonders of the internet, and I love it.
When I think of putting on the armor of God, I can’t help but think about what the effect of those items would be in a D&D game. This is my blog, and no one tells me what to do here, so bear with me as I go down a rabbit hole.
3 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist (+2 to wisdom checks [insight], Cast zone of truth once per long rest)
and put on the breastplate of righteousness (+2 AC, Cast Remove Curse once per long rest, Cast Aura of Purity once per day).
15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace (Advantage on Charisma checks [Persuasion], Disadvantage on Charisma checks [Intimidation]).
16 With all of these,[c] take the shield of faith (+1 AC, advantage on Intelligence checks [Religion], cast Shield of Faith once per long rest without requiring concentration, advantage on saving throws vs necromancy spells)
with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one (casts level 3 Inflict Wounds on hit)
17 Take the helmet of salvation (when an attack would reduce yours or an allies HP below 1 it instead reduces it to 1 once per combat in a 10 foot aura)
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (+1 to hit, cast Divine Word once per day).
I’m sure you glazed over this, but if a character were to have this set of equipment (probably a paladin, which is my current class), you would be an absolute juggernaut in the game. It would be a huge advantage for you in most situations, and would give you the chance to help your party.
But in D&D, a huge part of the game is the randomness. Sometimes you succeed when you have no right to do so, and sometimes you fail despite having huge bonuses and advantage on the dice rolls.
Even if we (now I’m talking in the real world) were to take up the whole armor of God, it does not mean that we’d be invincible. It does not mean that we can do everything. Even if we’re made righteous and holy through God’s grace and mercy, it does not mean that we are infallible. It means that we have a better chance of doing right, and that’s what we need to hold on to.
Thanks for reading this silly little blog. Your patience is a credit to you.