We live in a culture that no longer believes in cosmic powers of darkness. Even though many people still claim a belief in God, few people believe that there is a devil. Many say that such beliefs are archaic. Many people do not want to talk about evil spirits or demons, and yet we see much darkness in our world today. We may not want to acknowledge the existence of the devil, but his works are very clear.
We have seen the mighty senselessly kill innocent men, women, and even children just to maintain power and control. We have seen the rich plot, scheme, and lie to the poor in order to trick them out of their money. We have seen millions of people of means turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the poor and hungry. Even worse, some have blamed the poor for their poverty. You may not like to talk about the devil or demons, but their power remains strong and present in our world today.
Even though the forces of evil remain strong, we believe, hope, and trust in a power that is even stronger yet. We place our hope in Jesus Christ. We believe that on the cross, Christ took on our old satanic foe and dealt him a death blow. Though he may rant and rage for now, his end is coming soon. Yet, while we continue to deal with it now, in this life, we cling to the sure and certain promise that, although the evil one may cause us much trouble, the kingdom of God is ours forever. Rejoice, then, in the victory of Christ.
"A Mighty Fortress is Our God," ELW 504
A mighty fortress is our God, a sword and shield victorious;
he breaks the cruel oppressor's rod and wins salvation glorious.
The old satanic foe has sworn to work us woe!
With craft and dreadful might he arms himself to fight.
On earth he has no equal.
No strength of ours can match his might! We would be lost, rejected.
But now a champion comes to fight, whom God himself elected.
You ask who this may be? The Lord of hosts is he!
Christ Jesus, mighty Lord, God's only Son, adored.
He holds the field victorious.
Though hordes of devils fill the land all threat'ning to devour us,
we tremble no, unmoved we stand; they cannot over pow'r us.
Let this world's tyrant rage; in battle we'll engage!
His might is doomed to fail; God's judgment must prevail!
One little word subdues him.
God's Word forever shall abide, no thanks to foes, who fear it;
for God himself fights by our side with weapons of the Spirit.
Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child or spouse,
though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day.
The kingdom's ours forever!