When our family was young, neighbouring children were always welcome to come over and hang out. Our house wasn’t big, but the activity and laughter was a joy to have around.
Michael, who can’t have been much more than 5 or 6 years old at the time, lived next door; we’d often answer a knock and see his sunshiny, cherubic face. He would ask whether our kids could play with him. They were his official babysitters at times, so he felt at home with them.
One day, I answered the door to find Michael the Warrior standing there. While Michael’s immediate family wasn’t religious, his extended family was, and he was wearing a costume given to him by his aunt. He was in his Ephesians 6 regalia, and just had to come over to show us.
In the Jewish scriptures, Michael is the archangel warrior, the prince and protector of Israel. He is also recognized in Christianity and Islam, a healer and slayer of dragons. In Revelation 12:7, we see Michael fighting a battle against the the devil and defeating him.
People want to name their children heroic names; it’s seen as kind of a blessing, or sometimes a remembrance of someone powerful or dearly loved. We are more casual about names than people who lived in Biblical times; then it was felt that a name also conferred a calling. Patriarchs Abram and Jacob were given new names when there was a major shift in identity.
Perhaps we, like innocent children, have no idea of the epic scale of some of the concepts at play in the world. The great story of the battle of good versus evil echoes in hundreds of warrior stories. They are told in obscure places, and set in cultures and their mythologies.
While our children are yet small, we want them to be equipped with all the armour of God to endure and prevail through all the hardships and perils of life. As adults, we still need all the spiritual armour available to us.
“Therefore, put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Sometimes, wisdom is revealed from the mouths of babes. Like it was the day Michael the Warrior showed up on our doorstep.