| by Jamie Arpin-Ricci
The gunshot shattered the silence that sunny afternoon as my wife and I relaxed in our living room. For a few moments, we stared wide-eyed at each other. Gunshots are not unheard of in the inner-city neighbourhood we call home, but a daytime shooting so close to our home was a first. In that moment, I faced a choice: stay in the safety of my house or put on my shoes to see if anyone needed help.
“…Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
We put on our shoes when we are going somewhere. The gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to go into the entire world with His message of salvation and hope. However, in the history of God’s people, we have not always brought “good news” with us, and certainly not the gospel of peace.
Paul powerfully demonstrates the paradox of the gospel by call us to put on armour—the garb of warfare—yet when he gets to the part of us that brings us to our enemies, he calls us to put on peace. In this way we see that the gospel is by no means passive or weak, but powerful and effective. However, it is not the power of the world, but one of true peace.
That afternoon I found that a friend had been shot in the leg in a gang-related shooting. He was loaded into the ambulance and recovered perfectly. Yet, stepping out that door into the threat of violence was only possible because I deeply believed God was with me, giving me a peace which would carry His love to the world—if I chose to put on my shoes and go.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7).
Jamie Arpin-Ricci, CJ, is a writer and pastor of Little Flowers Community, an inner-city church plant in Winnipeg, MB. He is the author of the forthcoming The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis & Life in the Kingdom (IVPress, November 2011). He blogs regularly at www.missional.ca.
The article above was featured in the March 2011 issue of SEVEN magazine.