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Captain of the Host

Joshua 5:13-15 (see below)
This week traditional American Anglicans have been reading in Joshua. The revisers in 1945 had dropped this passage from the BCP (it is in the 1928 edition Lectionary ( Josh 5-10 through 6:11, but was dropped in the extensive update of 1945), so that it was not to be read... (along with others that are militant in nature" for instance Rev 19: 17ff that show Christ Militant. Ch 19 was read in its entirety on Fri, 3rd Sunday in Advent in 1928-1944).  Perhaps it wasn't thought to be politically correct after the great WWII to have such a militant view of Christ. They by fiat essentially edited the Bible by ensuring this chapter was not read publicly. I don't know for sure,  but I aways treat this lectionary with grain of salt, and look to fill in the gaps.  Dr. Peter Toon of the Prayer Book Society wrote me this year and said that the 1662 BCP was the standard he used. In those days, I do believe the entire bible was read. That was Cranmer's design. In an article I read recently, Dr. Toon stated that it was after WWII that the PECUSA began to change, a change that has brought it very nearly to a falling out with the Anglican communion today.... this change in the lectionary of 1945 in the 1928 BCP could well be part of what he meant.
What I do know is that the passage of Joshua 5:13-15 (see below) is very comforting to me personally as a warrior, and it uses the title the Church has used through the ages to refer to  Christ... the Captain of the Host. This is the same title I've chosen for the Labarum Guard prayer. Now my old KJV study Bible makes references to passages referring to theophanies of God (eg with Abram and Israel) and also of the Lord's militant Angel... ( e.g. with the donkey, Garden of Eden etc.)    Well, which is it? It cannot be both God and Angel.  Joshua, on a commander's reconnaissance of Jericho, sees the militant being with sword drawn opposite of him. The verse that has captured me is that this armed being told Joshua to remove his shoes, that he was on holy ground, and did not rebuke his worship. It is here that I see clearly an OT revelation of Christ Militant, the Logos, with sword drawn and prepared to do the Lord's work in combat, to fight the Lord's fight. It makes the image of our Christ Militant, that we have on the Chapel, so very appropriate and reassuring. I am confident that he is yet Militant and protects the Church Militant, the invisible body of Christ's own, so that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
I said the verse comforted me personally, and yet more. And why? Because our troops are in a great global war against a lose group of evil people, and I believe our cause to be righteous before God... to halt the terrorist where we find them, to offer freedom and hope to oppressed peoples. I pray that along side our forces there is an invisible army under command of Christ Militant, the Captain of the Host, and his angels under Michael, who fights in his battle against evil, and that our cause is just and that we are indeed joined with him. I think of our own centurions in harms way, soon to be joined  other dear to us, and I am comforted by this passage and the belief that Christ has since the beginning, according to God's plan, been involved directly in the affairs of men and war.
I invite you to take a look at the commentary on these passages by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. called The Captain of the Lord’s Army
(Joshua 5:13-15)
Joshua 5:13-15
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

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