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1 Thessalonians 5:8

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1 Thessalonians 5:8, ‘But we belong to the day, we should be vigilant, having put on the breastplate of faith and of love, and the helmet of the hope of salvation’

Consider, specifically, what it means to have the ‘hope of salvation’ as our helmet (περικεφαλαίαν, literally, that which is ‘around the head’). A helmet protects the head precisely as it surrounds, encloses, or sheathes the head. In a similar way, the hope of salvation is to surround, enclose, and sheathe our ‘head,’ which I take to mean (at least) the center of our spiritual perception. Just as with physical eyes, ears, and brain, beneath a helmet, so too our soul’s sight, hearing, and contemplation of the external world are to be encompassed by the hope of salvation.

We ought to see through this hope, to hear through this hope, to evaluate, imagine, design, plan, and purpose through this hope. It is to define our perception of reality.

And what is this hope? Paul explains it in v.9, it is that we are not destined for wrath, but for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ—which ultimately means to live with Him…Our hope IS the Crucified and Risen Jesus, which is to say, it is God Himself, radiant, merciful, singing over us in love through in and as the Risen Son. Our hope is that, with divine and blood-sealed certainty, we will stand—robed in the glory of the regenerate cosmos, united beyond all expectation with every beauty and every love that this world of death has torn from us, comforted by that grace which to receive is both the justification and transfiguration of our sorrows and sufferings—we will stand, rejoicing with tears of wonder in the presence of Him who is Himself the harmony, the healing, the answer and the telos of all things.

He Himself is our hope, and that moment—which, as consummate personal eucatastrophe (that is to say, resurrection) gathers all previous moments into itself, transfiguring the scored and wounded Flesh of our existence into the Body of His beauty, turning every tear to the Wine of Blessedness—that moment is the ‘hope of salvation’ through which and under which all of our seeing, hearing, and thinking in this world is to be carried out.